Instagram is making a few new creator-focused changes to its platform, which Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said is meant to “make sure the credit goes to those who deserve it.”
The new stuff consists of three changes: Product tags are now available to everyone so you can tag a product in your post; you can assign yourself a category like “Photographer” or “Rapper” and have that category pop up every time you are tagged in a post; and Instagram will increasingly start promoting original content on the platform.
“If you create something from scratch,” Mosseri said in a video explaining the new features, “you should get more credit than if you recover something you found from someone else. We will try and do more to try to appreciate original content more, especially compared to resubmitted content. ” Appreciating original content is obviously not a new thing, but Mosseri said Instagram will lean more heavily in this direction.
Translation? Please, please, do not send your favorite TikToks to Reels. We ask you.
We’ve added new ways to tag and improved rankings:
– Product tags
– Improved tags
– Ranking for originality
Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure they succeed and get all the credit they deserve. pic.twitter.com/PP7Qa10oJr
– Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) April 20, 2022
Meta has made it clear that it sees Facebook and Instagram as creator-focused platforms going forward, rather than as tools for people to connect with their friends. So both platforms have invested in shopping tools, ways creators can build an audience and a lot of other things that they hope will entice creators to stop being TikTokers and YouTubers and start being Instagrammers and Facebookers.
Wheels in particular are central to this effort. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly called the videos “our by far fastest growing content format”, and they are now available across Facebook and Instagram. But everyone who uses Reels knows that it can feel like a TikTok clone, often with the same content that has just been resubmitted – the TikTok logo and all – from elsewhere. A way for Instagram to deter this practice? Bury it in the rankings. And that’s exactly what Mosseri seems to be planning to do.
As for how Instagram will determine what counts as original, Mosseri only said it is difficult and “we will repeat over time.” The change is likely to be a major problem for aggregator accounts, many of which are hugely popular sources of memes and trends, but are often accused of stealing content and credit from creators. “As we lean more into recommendations, it becomes increasingly important that we do not overestimate aggregators,” Mosseri tweeted, “as it would be bad for creators and therefore bad for Instagram in the long run.”
The push for original content on Meta’s social products is nothing new, nor is it the fact that the most popular things on Facebook and Instagram tend to be plagiarized. Meta’s platforms have the largest audience, but TikTok, Twitter and others tend to be where new memes and trends are created. If Instagram and Facebook are to be successful creative platforms, they will have to find a way to turn it around. And starting by turning on its most powerful button – the ranking algorithm that determines what billions of people see every day – is a pretty serious first move. Another idea would be to pay creators more, but given that Meta seems to be cutting back on its Reels payouts, it may not come soon.