Instagram is introducing a few new creator-focused changes to its platform, according to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, to “make sure that credit is going to those who deserve it.”
Product tags are now available to everyone, so you may tag a product in your post; you can assign yourself to a category like “Photographer” or “Rapper” and have that category appear every time you’re tagged in a post; and Instagram will begin promoting original content more heavily 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 are re-sharing something that you found from someone else. We’re going to try and do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.” Of course, valuing original material isn’t a new concept, but according to Mosseri, Instagram will place a greater emphasis on it.
Translation? Please, for the love of God, don’t just post your fave TikToks to Reels. We’re pleading with you.
Meta has stated that it envisions Facebook and Instagram as creator-focused platforms rather than tools for individuals to interact with their friends in the future. As a result, both platforms have invested in shopping capabilities, ways for producers to create audiences, and a variety of other features in the hopes of luring creators away from TikTok and YouTube and toward Instagram and Facebook.
This endeavour is centred on reels in particular. The short-form videos, which are now available on Facebook and Instagram, have been dubbed “our fastest growing content format by far” by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Reels, on the other hand, can feel like a TikTok clone, with the same content simply published from elsewhere — TikTok logo and all. Is there a way for Instagram to de-incentivize this behaviour? It should be buried in the ranks. And it appears like Mosseri intends to do just that.
Mosseri simply remarked that determining what counts as original is difficult and that “we will iterate over time.” The change is likely to be a significant problem for aggregator accounts, which are often accused of stealing content and credit from authors despite being immensely popular sources of memes and trends. “As we lean more into recommendations it’s becoming increasingly important that we don’t overvalue aggregators,” Mosseri tweeted, “as that would be bad for creators, and therefore bad for Instagram long term.”
The demand for original content on Meta’s social tools is nothing new, and the reality that the most popular content on Facebook and Instagram is often plagiarised is as well. Although Meta’s platforms have the most audiences, new memes and trends are often developed on TikTok, Twitter, and other networks. Instagram and Facebook will have to figure out a way to turn this around if they want to be effective creator platforms. And turning the most powerful knob on the machine — the ranking algorithm that determines what billions of people see every day — is a critical first step. Another option is to pay creators more, but considering that Meta appears to be reducing Reels rewards, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
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