Following criticism from users that Instagram is starting to look and behave too much like its rival TikTok, Instagram head Adam Mosseri says the social network will walk back some recent changes to the app to maintain its original look and feel.
The criticism was echoed by a number of celebrities, including US model Chrissy Teigen, who complained that users “don’t wanna make videos”, reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who shared an online “petition” to “Make Instagram Instagram again” on their stories, and content creator Toni Tone, who complained about the recent changes in a tweet thread.
In response, Mosseri admitted that the full-screen home test is not ideal, noting in a series of tweets that although Instagram will “continue to support photos,” Instagram is going to be more focused on videos in the future.
In the words of their Meta spokesperson: “We recognise that changes to the app can be an adjustment, and while we believe that Instagram needs to evolve as the world changes, we want to take the time to make sure we get this right.”
As for the change in direction, Mosseri promised he will be phasing out a test that turned users’ home feeds into a TikTok-like full-screen video experience, and reducing the number of recommended posts that users see within the coming weeks.
Commenting on the situation, he noted: “I’m glad we took a risk – if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough…but we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we’ve learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration.”
Facebook parent Meta is also banking on video to make profit. Not only has the amount of time users spent watching Reels increased by 30%, Reel ads are also making more than $1 billion in annual run rate.
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