It’s been almost two years since Instagram launched Reels, its format for short-form videos, aka its answer to TikTok. And since that time, it has been working to get users to stop copying and pasting their TikToks onto the platform.
In 2021, the social media site asked users not to post content on Reels “that is visibly recycled from other apps.” Instagram also said it would make reposted TikToks that have the watermarks “less discoverable.” But the site is still full of TikTok content, and this week, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri uploaded a video announcing the site would be changing its algorithm to favor original content.
In the video, Mosseri says people who “create something from scratch” should “get more credit than if you are re-sharing something that you found from someone else.”
???? New Features ????
We’ve added new ways to tag and improved ranking:
– Product Tags
– Enhanced Tags
– Ranking for originality
Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure that they are successful and get all the credit they deserve. pic.twitter.com/PP7Qa10oJr
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) April 20, 2022
Aggregation accounts—those who repost other creators’ viral videos to their own profiles—are also a target for Mosseri. In response to a tweet asking what prompted the change, Mosseri replied, “As we lean more into recommendations it’s becoming increasingly important that [we] don’t overvalue aggregators, as that would be bad for creators, and [therefore] bad for Instagram long term.”
Crediting original creators has been a hot button issue for TikTok, as well. TikTok announced an initiative in February to help credit original content, after being criticized for failing to promote several Black creators behind viral dance trends on the platform.
In addition to the tweaks to Instagram’s algorithm, Mosseri announced a couple of other changes to Instagram. Product tags, a feature that lets users tag where to buy certain items, is now available to everyone. So is another feature that lets users assign themselves to a category, such as “singer” or “designer,” which pops up every time they are tagged.