Popular YouTuber and beauty guru James Charles has called out Instagram after they released an update where the location of certain features seems to prioritize “making money, and only making money.”
The new era of entertainment culture has brought with it some significant drawbacks. When ordinary people become colossal celebrities overnight through apps such as TikTok or Instagram, their career is often at the mercy of the platform itself.
Audience engagement frequently suffers as a result of abrupt changes to the app’s algorithm, and Instagram has been openly criticized in the past for it. In 2016 the company switched up their reverse chronological feed for an algorithm that supposedly aimed to prioritize the content the user would be most interested in, but the update was not met with open arms.
James Charles is one such creator who found his fame via YouTube, but boasts an impressive Instagram follower account of over 23 million people, regularly sharing new makeup looks or collabs with his many fans.
James Charles responds to new Instagram update
However, James was thoroughly unimpressed after Instagram rolled out their new update this November, and called out the company via his Instagram story. “As usual it is absolute trash, and proves once again, as usual, that Instagram does not give a flying f**k about creators, or literally anybody who uses this app,” he began.
“They moved literally everything around and it makes it very very clear where their priorities lie and that is making money, and only making money.”
BREAKING NEWS THAT WILL MOST DEFINITELY CHANGE YOUR LIFE: James Charles GOES OFF on Instagram for updating the app and moving the notifications and post buttons to the upper right corner of the screen. pic.twitter.com/bvaJBnDwR8
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) November 13, 2020
James describes that in the new update, the icons for adding new posts and viewing notifications have been moved out of reach to the top of the screen, replaced with Instagram’s TikTok clone ‘Reels’ and a shopping button.
“Nobody f***ing asked for Reels, we have TikTok for a reason. At least they have a good algorithm that actually works, why can’t they just let TikTok be TikTok?” he vented.
the new instagram update, as usual, is trash and proves, once again, that all they care about is making money 😐
— James Charles (@jamescharles) November 13, 2020
The star echoed frustrations from the community that the update did not fix known issues like broken explore pages, low engagement, and being unable to see posts from friends and family despite following them.
Instagram needs to take our advice and stop making unnecessary shitty ass updates, thanks❤️just fix the algorithm so everybody can grow…
— Sahlt (@AlyciaTyre) November 13, 2020
What is this new update Instagram is trying to force on us? Where do you see your notifications?
— Mummy C-Dollar (@AtHisFeet_) November 13, 2020
James sympathized with the reality of the business side of the operation but stressed the need for a balance. “Do you know how easy it would be to just make a few changes to the algorithm here and there to at least make everybody kind of happy, but still add these features to make more money on the back end?”
Whether the outpouring of criticism from influencers and regular users alike will have an effect on future updates remain to be seen, but it seems as though some members of the community are losing their trust in Instagram.