Instagram is trying to be like TikTok, and it’s working.

TikTok is under attack from every angle, with a huge knockoff and a ban on the horizon.

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When Instagram adds a new feature that just takes from another app, Instagram users worry about the worst.

Cristina Alexander wrote an article for Digital Trends in 2022 that complained about how Instagram was becoming more like TikTok. She said that this “takes away the type of content people love most about the platform: photos from friends and family and content based on their interests.”

Alexander wrote, “And it’s something I’m just about sick of.”

But the gloomy talk doesn’t usually last forever. Alexander follows in the footsteps of Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and many other regular Instagram users, including myself. We all hate it when Instagram copies something else and then gets used to it after a few months.

No matter how you feel about Instagram’s copying plan, it works. Its determination to take features from other apps is what’s helping it pass TikTok.

This app is like Kirby in Super Smash Bros. He is a tough enemy on his own, but what makes him strong is his Copy Ability, which lets him swallow his enemies and use their powers against them. Kirby doesn’t look for and use power-ups or figure out which skills are most important. Instead, he uses his enemies as power-ups. When Instagram and other apps owned by Meta fight, they eat their foes, copy their features, and use them to win. This is how Instagram got rid of Snapchat as a major rival, and now TikTok is following suit.

According to statistics from market intelligence company Sensor Tower, which was reported by the Financial Times, Instagram passed TikTok in new app downloads for the first time since 2020. This made Instagram the most downloaded app in the world. In 2023, Instagram downloads went up 20% while TikTok downloads only went up 4%.

It comes after Instagram added Reels, a feature similar to TikTok that users didn’t like at first but is now a part of the app. It’s possible that adding Reels has helped bring the app back to the top.

Abraham Yousef, a senior insights manager at Sensor Tower, told the Financial Times that Instagram has been more popular than TikTok in terms of growth over the past few years. This is because of its Reels feature and other popular social media features and functions.

Instagram’s success may come from its ability to copy other apps’ strategies. However, TikTok is in a fight on all fronts.

President Joe Biden said that he would sign the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” into law if it passes in Congress. This bill would keep TikTok and all other apps from China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran from being sold in U.S. app shops. Lawmakers say that the Chinese government could get to the personal information of U.S. TikTok users, but TikTok has always denied this.

Several government meetings were held in response to efforts to ban TikTok. Just last week, the app told all of its U.S. users to call their representatives and “stop a TikTok shutdown.” It comes two years after it was said that Meta paid a Republican marketing company to make people not trust TikTok.

At the same time, TikTok is focusing less and less on fun and more on shopping. Since the TikTok shop came out, it seems like every other video on the For You Page is a paid or promoted post. Things on TikTok are changing, and it might not be for the better.

Even though fewer people are getting the app and more are talking about it, that doesn’t mean TikTok is completely failing. According to an article in the Financial Times, users spend an average of 95 minutes on TikTok, compared to 62 minutes on Instagram, 30 minutes on X, and 19 minutes on Snapchat. This means that TikTok has better engagement than its competitors.

What will a TikTok ban look like? We don’t know yet, but one thing is for sure: the fight for users won’t end if the app isn’t banned in the U.S.

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