Instagram, one of the world’s largest social media platforms with more than two billion users, recently came under fire for utilizing several new features in an effort to become more video-friendly. Tactics included placing full-screen videos on users’ feeds, rather than photos. In addition, users’ Instagram feeds began to feature random content recommendations, as opposed to content by whom they follow.

Tactics have since ceased following user pushback and negative comments, the most egregious of which resulted in a post by sisters Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner asking the platform to return to its photo-sharing roots. To date, the post has received more than 2 million likes. Instagram head Adam Mosseri responded to the backlash, stating, “I do believe more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time… We have to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos.”

In light of the firestorm, Beauty News reached out to several beauty brands for their thoughts on Instagram’s video-forward intentions. Some brands, such as The Inkey List and Florence by Mills, have been less than thrilled by the shift on the platform, while other brands, such as Glow Recipe, are more open to developing new styles of content.

Colette Laxton, Co-founder and CEO, The Inkey List

“The Inkey List’s content has always centered around knowledge, delivered through easy-to-understand infographics and carousels. While we welcomed Instagram’s shift to focus slightly more on Reels at first, the recent full shift has made it more difficult to reach our usual audience numbers. It’s a shame that the platform has made this move because we know our community loves non-video content and would like to see, engage, and save it.

In our social team, we had already anticipated there to be a full shift, so we had already begun implementing reels and video content as 90 percent of our content strategy. As we navigate through these changes, we will continue to create video content that provides our followers with the knowledge they need, whilst leaning into trends to stay on top of the algorithms.”

Sam Fiock, Marketing Director, Florence by Mills

“I do not like Instagram’s shift away from its original model. It’s making social platforms more and more homogenous, causing content fatigue for brands and followers.

Our social media strategy has always been to have different video content between Instagram Reels and Tik Tok, so this change has not impacted our approach to creating content. There is a lot of cross-over between our followers on both platforms, so to ensure we keep our engagement high we always strive to produce specific video content for each platform.”

Yasmeen Gharnit, Senior Content and Art Director, Glow Recipe

“It’s natural that the platform is ever evolving, and we’ve been able to engage with our followers and customers in different ways over the past few years through its different features. The introduction of reels and Instagram stories have been a great way for us to create fresh, socially native content to connect with our Glow Gang community in a deeper way than we were able to through the single, static photo posts that the platform launched with. This multimedia ecosystem has really made Instagram a unique place to scroll through and engage…We hope the algorithms shift to centralize support for different content mediums.

When we [Glow Recipe] launched on TikTok in early 2020, we saw how incredibly valuable socially native video content was to help educate our customers about how to find the right products for their skin and how to use our products in their daily routines. When Instagram Reels launched, we immediately started to utilize it to engage with our Instagram audience in the same way. We’ve prioritized creating more organic, iPhone-shot video content and are working to differentiate this type of content across our Instagram and TikTok accounts.”