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Here's why all of your social media is trying to be TikTok now – CBC News



If you’ve noticed a change to the way your favourite social media platform works lately, you aren’t alone. 

Even Kylie Jenner, arguably the most online person in the world, seemed to be getting fed up with it this week when she griped about recent changes to Instagram’s algorithm that prioritizes more short videos from brands and strangers over content from people and companies users choose to follow.

“Make Instagram Instagram again,” Jenner complained to her 360 million followers. “Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone,” she said in the story, which her sister, Kim Kardashian, then shared to her own 330 million followers.


For the family that essentially invented the concept of social media influencers to push back against attempts by social media companies to influence what we see, it speaks to just how meteoric TikTok’s rise has been.

Founded in 2016, TikTok has seen explosive growth during the pandemic to become the most downloaded app in the world in 2022, racking up billions of users. 

It only allows users to share videos, and it works with brands and influencers to promote products in those videos. This business model is starting to eat into profits at more established social media companies.

Financial results hint at changing landscape

Meta Inc., which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, revealed financial results this week that hint at just how fast the social media landscape is changing.

For the first time in its history as a public company, Facebook saw its revenue shrink in the three months up until the end of June. And it expects that trend to continue this quarter. 

There’s a certain irony to the evolution of these platforms in that Instagram began as a service that just shared still photos and its runaway success resulted in Facebook buying the app. Then video became the latest trend after the introduction of video messaging app Snapchat, prompting Facebook and Instagram to introduce features that allowed users to share short videos.

Instagram’s latest push for more video is just the latest step in that evolution, according to Richard Lachman, director of The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University.

“Facebook and Instagram were seeing reductions in their size of audience, so they are trying to chase where the buzz seems to be,” he said in an interview.

So far, the chief weapon in Facebook and Instagram’s arsenals seems to be trying to mimic what TikTok does.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained what the company was up to in a video this week — tellingly, that video was released on TikTok itself — confirming suspicions that it was “experimenting with a number of different changes to the app.” 

“I need to be honest. I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time,” he said, acknowledging that many users are upset with the changes. “It’s not yet good,” he admitted, bluntly.

Pushback from super-users like Jenner has seemingly prompted a rethink, as the company told CBC News in a statement this week it would be “pausing” the full-screen test and “temporarily decreasing” the number of recommendations users will get from outside their network.

To its rivals, the lesson of TikTok’s runaway success is that people want more video content. And to the chagrin of some of their users, these rivals are adjusting their business models accordingly to offer more video — whether users want it or not.

WATCH | Why Instagram is walking back some recent changes: 

Instagram walks back some TikTok-style updates after user backlash

2 days ago

Duration 2:01

Instagram users pushed back against the app’s new updates that prioritized sharing videos instead of pictures, a format that many have compared to TikTok. Parent company Meta announced it will walk back some of these changes in response to the feedback.

“The problem with these platforms is they’re based on endless [engagement] growth,” Lachman said. “But ultimately they’re competing for a limited number of hours [so they] end up duplicating one another’s features, not always successfully.”

He says the attempt to be all things to all users sometimes “doesn’t sit so well with the users who already know and love the platform.”

Different platforms have different uses

Marlie Cohen, a Toronto-based fitness and parenting influencer who posts on both platforms under the name Kale & Krunches, says she’s keenly aware of the shift, both as a content producer and a user. 

“As a creator, I understand that the eyeballs are really on TikTok right now, and that’s because the algorithm is feeding us the type of content that we want to see,” she said in an interview with CBC News.

A woman sits on the floor and smiles into her phone.
Marlie Cohen is a Toronto-based parenting and fitness influencer on social media. (Submitted by Marlie Cohen)

“I understand that the other apps want to keep up with that and keep our attention on them as well, but as a consumer, I find it extremely frustrating because I go to different platforms for different things.”

Cohen joined Instagram in 2015, and says it quickly became her preferred medium because of the sense of community she could build. By 2017, she had enough of a following that she was able to leave her corporate job and become a full-time content producer.

While her Instagram following has grown to 60,000 followers today, she says she’s managed to double that figure on TikTok in far less time.

Users pushing back

Because TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes content that people respond to regardless of the creator’s number of followers, Cohen says it allows talented creators to find an audience quickly. 

But for many Instagram users, the platform’s attempt to mimic TikTok’s success just means they’re being offered content they don’t necessarily want.

On the streets of Toronto this week, many users expressed disappointment with Instagram’s experimentation.

“It takes away from the original version,” Rachel Wong told CBC News. “I personally like the pictures more.”

WATCH | Canadians weigh in on Instagram’s proposed changes: 

Instagram users react to changes

1 day ago

Duration 0:28

On the streets of Toronto, social media users tell CBC News what they think about the sudden push toward video content in various social media platforms.

Taking pictures for his Instagram feed in downtown Toronto, Oleh Dehtiarov said he prefers Instagram to TikTok for the same reason.

“I’m more into pictures. I don’t mind, like, a few video shots, but I feel like if it’s just videos, they can get quite annoying.”

Instagram’s sudden push of video over photos also ups demands on content creators, who have to produce higher-quality content to rise above the fray. 

That’s where people like Drake Andrews and Kyle Pretzlaff come in. 

They’re the founders of Kozen Creative, a digital-focused marketing studio that helps people and brands fine-tune their online presence for a social media audience and create content that gets noticed on TikTok.

Unlike text or still photo-based platforms, they say video has massive marketing potential if done properly.

“You get to show your personality. You get to be a little bit more authentic and connect with the viewer,” Andrews told CBC News in an interview, while shooting video for one of his clients, a barbershop.

“At the end of the day it’s going to be way more important and impactful.”

Drake Andrews, left, and his business partner Kyle Pretzlaff run Kozen Creative, a marketing studio that helps businesses fine tune their social media presence. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

The fight to stay relevant

Andrews says Instagram’s strategy is necessary for it to stay relevant.

“In any business you’re going to have to adapt to what’s happening in the market,” he said. “You don’t want to be the Zellers. You don’t want to be the MySpace.”

While Andrews acknowledges that the user backlash is very real, he doesn’t see video as a flash in the pan and says those who don’t adapt will be left behind.

“It’s going to become dated and people are going to treat it more like Facebook, where it’s left to the older generation,” he said of Instagram. 

“The younger generation isn’t going to go into it because they already have TikTok and they have adopted to the platform.”

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Social media's new pay-for-play rules – Axios



Illustration of a phone with a mobile payment icon on the screen, unzipping to show cards and money inside.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Social media is getting pricier for users who want to unlock special features and privileges.

Why it matters: Users who once believed they were contributing their time and creativity are now being asked to pay up by cash-hungry platforms.


Driving the news: Elon Musk on Monday tweeted that beginning April 15, only tweets by verified users will show up in Twitter’s default main feed of “For You” recommendations. Verification, formerly a service Twitter offered public figures, is now available only to $8-a-month subscribers.

  • The new strategy “is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle,” Musk argued. “Voting in polls will require verification for same reason.”

Between the lines: Musk has tried to shift more of Twitter’s business towards charging for subscriptions amid advertising pullback.

  • In addition to charging users to be verified, he also began charging companies for access to Twitter’s API, or backend interface, something many used to be able to access for free.

Be smart: Other social networks have made changes to their feeds to prioritize paid traffic over organic posts, but Musk’s moves are more drastic.

  • As The New York Times’ Mike Isaac notes, when Facebook transitioned its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends over Pages, brands and news companies were forced to buy ads if they wanted to be seen.

The big picture: Twitter isn’t alone in its push for more stable, recurring revenues. Other social networks, having reached a point of maturity and a slowdown in the ad market, are also looking to make more money from subscriptions and licensing.

  • Meta launched its version of a paid verification subscription service in the U.S. last week. Snapchat introduced a new consumer subscription last year.
  • Snapchat also last week launched its first enterprise software business, licensing its augmented reality software and tools to enterprise companies.
  • [T]his opportunity is major, not just for Snap, but for businesses of all sizes,” said Jill Popelka, head of AR enterprise services for Snap Inc. Snap will first focus on licensing out its tech and services to the retail industry before testing other markets.

Yes, but: Musk has announced many new policies and promises from his Twitter account that have fallen by the wayside or remain unfulfilled.

The bottom line: Users may not need all of the new paid perks they’re being offered, but tech firms are desperate to sell them. 

  • Musk admitted to employees this week that Twitter is worth less than half of what it was when he bought it.
  • Stocks for Meta and Snap have both lost all of of their pandemic momentum since the ad market began to crater in 2022.

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Myanmar military dissolves Suu Kyi’s NLD party: State media




Party of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi among 40 political parties dissolved after failing to meet registration deadline, according to state television.

Myanmar’s military-controlled election commission has announced that the National League for Democracy Party (NLD) would be dissolved for failing to re-register under a new electoral law, according to state television.

The NLD led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was among 40 political parties dissolved on Tuesday after they failed to meet the ruling military’s registration deadline for an election, according to state television.


In a nightly news bulletin, Myawaddy TV announced the NLD among those who had not signed up to the election and were therefore automatically disbanded. The NLD has said it would not contest what it calls an illegitimate election.

The army carried out a coup in February 2021 after the NLD won the November 2020 parliamentary elections and subsequently jailed its leader Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi, 77, is serving prison sentences totaling 33 years after being convicted in a series of politically tainted prosecutions brought by the military. Her supporters say the charges were contrived to keep her from actively taking part in politics.

The party won a landslide victory in the 2020 general election, but less than three months later, the army kept Suu Kyi and all the elected lawmakers from taking their seats in parliament.

The army said justified the coup saying there was a massive poll fraud, though independent election observers did not find any major irregularities.

Some critics of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the takeover and is now Myanmar’s top leader, believe he acted because the vote thwarted his own political ambitions.

No date has been set for the new polls. They had been expected by the end of July, according to the army’s own plans.

But in February, the military announced an unexpected six-month extension of its state of emergency, delaying the possible legal date for holding an election.

It said security could not be assured. The military does not control large swaths of the country, where it faces widespread armed resistance to its rule.


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Gautam Adani acquires 49% in Quintillion Business Media for Rs 48 crore



Billionaire Gautam Adani’s AMG Media Networks has acquired about a 49 per cent stake in Raghav Bahl-curated digital business news platform Quintillion Business Media Pvt Ltd for about Rs 48 crore.

In a stock exchange filing, Adani Enterprises Ltd said its subsidiary AMG Media Networks Ltd has completed the acquisition which was originally announced in May last year.

The transaction was completed on March 27 for “Rs 47.84 crore”, it said.

Quintillion Business Media runs the news platform Bloomberg Quint, now called BQ Prime.


Adani group had set up AMG Media Networks for its foray into businesses of “publishing, advertising, broadcasting, distribution of content over different types of media networks”.

In May last year, it had signed a shareholders’ agreement with Quintillion Media Ltd (QML) and QBML.

In September 2021, it hired veteran journalist Sanjay Pugalia to lead its media company Adani Media Ventures.



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