Instagram head Adam Mosseri posted a video to respond to the many criticisms that have been received in recent weeks after some stark changes in the social network’s performance, which make images more marginal than video content.
Mosseri admitted that the new system, which appears as a test only for a portion of Instagram subscribers, is still not working properly and needs improvement. Meanwhile, he emphasized that the option to change the application in depth has now been made, without giving much thought of wanting to review some decisions that according to different observers. They are leading to the ‘TikTokization’ of the social network: It’s no longer based on friends’ photos, but on viral videos from creators.
Mosseri said in a two-minute video targeting people who are subscribed to Instagram:
There is a lot going on on Instagram right now. We are seeing some changes to the app. Thus, many have informed us of their concerns. […] First, if you’ve seen a new, full-screen version of the feed, or heard about it, know that it’s a test. It is an experience for a limited number of users, and the idea is that a full screen experience, not only for videos but also for photos, can be more fun and engaging. But I want to be clear: It’s not very good right now, and we need to work on improving it before it’s available to the rest of the Instagram community.
Mosseri then clarified that he has received many disturbing comments about choosing to favor videos over photos in the feed, that is, in the main section where you often see content shared by people you follow. Instagram was born with the idea of being able to apply photo filters and share photos, but after introducing Stories (previously adopted by Snapchat) and Reel (short TikTok-inspired videos), images have always taken a more marginal role, particularly after changes in the algorithms that determine which content Every user sees it.
Mosseri also made the point, which is the increased intrusive presence in the feeds of content posted by people you’re not affiliated with, chosen and recommended by the algorithm, compared to the Pages and friends you choose to follow.
👋🏼 A lot is happening on Instagram right now.
I wanted to address some of the things we’re working on to make Instagram a better experience.
Please let me know what you think 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/x1If5qrCyS
Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) 26 July 2022
Mosseri argued in his letter that the photos would continue to exist on Instagram, but using formulas that imply their presence out of sight:
I get a lot of troubling messages about photos and how to shift focus to videos. I want to be clear: We will continue to keep the photos, they are part of our story, I love photos and I know many of you love them. Having said that, I have to be honest: I really think Instagram is going to become a growing place for videos.
Mosseri’s message has received many comments, which have been added to those in the past few days from Instagram users and some of its most important influencers. Kylie Jenner, who has more than 360 million followers on the social network, on Monday posted a photo that read: “Make Instagram again. (Stop trying to be TikTok, I want to see cute pictures of my friends).” The message was then picked up by several other influencers including Kim Kardashian, Jenner’s half-sister, the seventh most followed person on the social network.
The last time Kylie Jenner complained on a social media site, Snapchat lost $1.3 billion, so there’s an Instagram issue. pic.twitter.com/ugipc9abb6
– Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) 25 July 2022
Jenner did something similar in early 2018, when he criticized Snapchat for introducing some new features that made it more complex to use. The changes did not impress many users and put the company running the app in difficulty, which would later lose about $1.3 billion in market value.
Instagram is still one of the most used social networks in the world, but Mosseri and other Meta managers, the owner who also controls Facebook, fear that tough competition from TikTok will lead to a rapid loss of subscribers and relevance, especially among younger users. However, choosing to make the app similar to TikTok could alienate historical Instagram users, who have already had Stories with some difficulty, and it is now the app’s most used tool.
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