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Instagram addresses user backlash for ‘trying to be like TikTok’

The Jenner-Kardashian sisters called out the app in the wake of the “experiments” being rolled out

27 July 2022 - 15:00
Instagram is facing backlash for changes being made to the app. File image.
Instagram is facing backlash for changes being made to the app. File image.
Image: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has defended the changes being made to the social media platform after backlash from users.

The platform came under fire earlier this week from users, including Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, over changes being made to make it more like competitor TikTok, according to The Guardian. Jenner led calls for the app to “stop trying to be TikTok”.

According to the site, these changes include pushing for TikTok-style “reels” videos, “an extremely algorithmic main feed” and “heavy promotion of the TikTok-style 'remix' feature”.

This has reportedly made it harder for users to find content from their friends and family.

Meta last month unveiled sweeping redesigns of Facebook and Instagram, imitating rival TikTok's look and algorithmically-driven recommendations of viral short videos.

Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg told employees on the call, which took place on June 30, that Reels represented a “huge opportunity” for Meta, but also noted that the format was “still only about 15% of the size of TikTok”.

On Wednesday, Mosseri took to both Instagram and Twitter to “address a few things we’re working on to make Instagram a better experience”.

“There's a lot going on on Instagram right now. We're experimenting with a number of different changes to the app. So we're hearing a lot of concerns from all of you. So I wanted to take a few moments and clarify a few things.

“One is, if you're seeing a new full-screen version of the feed or you're hearing about it, know that that is a test. It's a test to a few percentage of people out there, and the idea is that a more full-screen experience, not only for videos but for photos, might be a more fun and engaging experience. But I also want to be clear, it's not yet good and we're going to have to get it to a good place if we're going to ship it to the rest of Instagram community.”

Mosseri also addressed concerns about the shift from photos to videos, insisting the app could continue to support photos, while more of the app was moving towards videos. He also touched on the issue of recommendations in the 2:27-minute long clip.

- Additional reporting by Reuters


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