- Shiona McCallum
- BBC News technology reporter
Instagram announced the suspension of the launch of new functions of its app after the criticism it received from users, influencers and celebrities.
Among the new features was an increase in recommended video content, in a similar style to rival app TikTok.
The screen display mode and the feed (where photos and videos are posted) were criticized, as users said they felt they couldn’t see photos of friends and family like they used to.
Meta, the company that owns Instagram, said it wants “time” to make the right changes.
‘Mimicking’ the competition
Instagram’s shift to more video content appears to respond to the growing popularity of TikTok, where users post and watch recordings rather than photos.
According to data from digital analytics company Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded more than three billion times worldwide, making it the first non-Meta app to reach that number.
Instagram boss Adam Mosseri told the news portal The Verge that the app renewal trial will be phased out gradually in a few weeks.
“I’m glad we took the risk. If we don’t fail once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or being bold enough,” he said via his Twitter account.
“We definitely need to take a big step back. We need to learn and then we’ll come back with some new idea. So let’s work on that,” he added.
Mosseri previously posted a video explaining the changes, saying that full-screen videos would be promoted instead of photos.
But after some harsh criticism, he clarified that they will continue to “support the photos”.
In response to Mosseri’s initial video, American model Chrissy Teigen said that the platform’s users “don’t want to make videos”.
Sisters Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner also shared a “petition” online to “make Instagram back to Instagram” in their stories.
Toni Tone, author and content creator, posted how frustrated she was with the changes and how Instagram was so much better when she received content from the people she chose to follow.
“Based on our findings and community feedback, we’re pausing full-screen testing on Instagram so we can explore other options, and we’re temporarily reducing the number of recommendations you see on your Instagram feed. feed so that we can improve the quality of your experience,” a Meta spokesperson told the BBC.
“We recognize that changes to the app may have an adjustment, and while we think Instagram needs to evolve as the world changes, we want to take the time to ensure we do this well,” he added.
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