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  • Salsabila Attaria, reporter

Tacky Instagram Update Draws Criticism

This November, popular social media platform Instagram released an update that has drawn criticism from many. This update included pushing the “new post” and notification button up to the upper right hand corner to center "Reels" and the "Shop" buttons.

Reels are a form of sharing content in short videos with catchy sounds, similar to a TikTok. The shop button includes a number of Instagram pages that sell a variety of products, but mostly clothes.

The new update was found to be defective as many users reported the app crashing, messages disappearing, and notifications not showing up after the release. Unsurprisingly, this combined with the new layout made many creators and everyday users angry.

Influencers and celebrities such as James Charles and Tyler, the Creator have expressed their dislike for the update. Both agree that Instagram is making it harder for users to use the app for its purpose: sharing photos with friends and family. Charles emphasized this by stating that Instagram is making it clear that they don’t care about making their platform user-friendly.

Because it is now harder to share photos to your story and feed, Instagram’s intentions are called into question. By putting a “shop” button front and center, it is obvious that the app is straying from its origins to make more money. Although online shopping is steadily rising in popularity, it doesn’t make sense for a social media app to prioritize it. Clearly, capitalism and greed have taken precedence over catering to influencers and everyday users.

Another fairly new feature, Reels, has drawn fire. It is hard to see the point of the feature when most Reels are simply re-posted TikToks or popular videos from other platforms. Prioritizing a feature many dislike or do not see the point of discredits Instagram’s ability to improve their app to the wishes of users.

Such inconvenient features, paired with a faulty algorithm, make it clear that Instagram does not care about non-store creators who rely on the app for income. Because of the algorithm, you are more likely to see ads and sponsored posts than the photos of the people you followed.

To get back on track, it is important that Instagram listens to its users. Right now, money seems to be their priority, and that needs to change as well. A social media app should be using its role of facilitating communication to shape its decisions, not business deals and greed.

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