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Instagram Bows to Pressure, Discontinues TikTok-Like Changes

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Instagram is going back on a number of its proposed changes after a section of users criticized the app for losing its identity. Influencers and celebrities including the Kardashian sisters had criticized the app for including features that made it more like TikTok. The social media backlash called on Meta to ‘make Instagram Instagram again.’

“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,” Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said in an interview.

“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. So we’re going to work through that.”

Read: Instagram testing Full-Screen Mode to Compete with TikTok

Among the changes implemented was the surfacing of more video content on the app with full screen displays just like on TikTok. Instagram argued that more users were making videos and that the transition to videos was inevitable even before TikTok. However, a section of users argued that they wished to view images of their actual friends on the app like old times.

Mosseri said the full-screen displays would be phased out over the next two weeks and users would also note a reduction in the number of recommended posts as it works on its algorithm.

“When you discover something in your field that you didn’t follow before, there should be a high bar — it should just be great,” Mosseri said.

Read also: TikTok Sued After Seven Children Lose Lives While Attempting Blackout Challenge

“You should be delighted to see it. And I don’t think that’s happening enough right now. So I think we need to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feed that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations, and then — if and when we do — we can start to grow again.” (“I’m confident we will,” he added.)

Instagram had converted all videos to Reels and was showing the videos to a wider audience saying the new algorithm aimed to help people discover newer content that they did not know they could be interested in on the app. As a result, users were seeing less content from their friends and families and more content from video and Reels creators.

Read also: Instagram Rolls out New Messaging Features Including Ability to Share Music

Meta, Instagram’s parent company, said it wanted to “take the time” to get the changes right.

The recent changes on Instagram can be attributed to rival social media platform, TikTok’s popularity. The platform, which allows users to post and watch videos, has reportedly been downloaded more than three billion times, a feat never achieved before by a non-Meta app.

“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,” Mosseri said.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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