If you’ve opened Instagram recently, you’ve certainly seen Reels. The photo-sharing app has started aggressively pushing the TikTok-like video feeds onto its users, a move that has sparked a heated response. Longtime users, and even celebrities like Kylie Jenner, have been urging Instagram to ditch the feature, which in addition to showing you more viral videos also shows you less updates from your friends and loved ones. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has defended the move, saying that Instagram is sticking with Reels and showing more videos in general, no matter how you or the Kardashians feel about that.
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs joins us to rant about Reels and why all the social media platforms are copying TikTok now.
Watch Mosseri’s recent video about Reels (on Twitter, of course). Read Kate’s story about how Instagram keeps showing her sick kids. To read more of Kate on the rise of Reels, subscribe to the Plaintext newsletter, where she’ll be filling in for Steven Levy this week.
Kate recommends the book The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism by Adrienne Buller. Lauren recommends the Jordan Peele movie Nope and also Jason Parham’s WIRED review of the film. Mike recommends the Netflix show How to Change Your Mind and John Semley’s WIRED story about the companies racing to engineer new psychedelic drugs.
Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.