Ok, we'll say it. Nobody likes Instagram Reels. We’ve been begrudgingly scrolling past them for the past two years and have come to accept them as part of our social media reality, but by no means is the feature a fan favorite. So when Instagram took their campaign to make Instagram TikTok one step further with beta tests of full-screen feeds and increased promoted content, people were not happy. Kylie Jenner even took a stance.
Shortly after the backlash, the Meta-owned app took a step back, discontinuing the beta test. Whether or not the change was influenced by Jenner’s brave advocacy has not been confirmed (nor denied).
Reels, however, is still a focus for the app, Mark Zuckerberg told analysts in a Q2 earnings call. The last bastion of the TikTok-ification of Instagram, reels are Zuckerberg’s white whale.
His intentions for Reels are less than noble, of course. Though the company’s monetization rate for Reels is lower than Feed or Stories, he’s “confident that Reels will grow engagement overall and quality and will eventually monetize closer to Feed.” It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s app, and we’re all just dollar signs in it.
And, as the divisive little dollar signs that we are, we do have somewhat of a say in how we’re monetized. Following the announcement of the rollback, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri shared a video to Twitter explaining the updates. Ah, the irony...
\u201c\ud83d\udc4b\ud83c\udffc There\u2019s a lot happening on Instagram right now.\n\nI wanted to address a few things we\u2019re working on to make Instagram a better experience. \n\nPlease let me know what you think \ud83d\udc47\ud83c\udffc\u201d— Adam Mosseri (@Adam Mosseri) 1658834583
Angry Instagram users did what they do best, and flocked to Twitter to poke fun.
And air their frustrations.
Shit did get reel.
But the consensus remains clear and distinctly anti-reel.
\u201cinstagram started forcing us to watch reels we didn\u2019t ask for from people we don\u2019t follow and then has the nerve to say \u201cwe\u2019re prioritizing reels because that\u2019s what people are watching!\u201d mf YOU FORCE US TO\u201d— matt (@matt) 1658858480
It seems they got the hint and hopefully we'll all be spared from the Reels-heavy update in the future.
Photo via Getty/ Jakub Porzycki/ NurPhoto