Instagram is walking back some of the controversial changes it has recently made. In a new interview, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri explained that the company needs to “take a big step back and regroup” following the criticism recent changes have received.
Instagram feed changes and redesign halted
Over the last several weeks, Instagram has been panned by users everywhere. Most notably, influencers, including Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, posted to their accounts asking the company to “Make Instagram Instagram again.” As we’ve seen before, major influencers turning on a platform can have major impacts.
Instagram’s Mosseri initially responded to the criticism with a video essentially doubling down on the changes, including more Reels and videos in your feed. He acknowledged that Instagram would “continue to support photos,” but that “more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.
Furthermore, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said just Wednesday evening that Instagram and Facebook feeds would continue to show even more “recommended” posts over the next two years. Zuckerberg said that the company plans to “more than double” the amount of Instagram feed content recommended by AI.
But now, Mosseri said Instagram will pull back on some of the controversial changes it has recently made. In an interview with Casey Newton for his Platformer newsletter, Mosseri said that he’s glad Instagram took the risk, but the company has heard the complaints.
“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.”
The changes could only be temporary
The exact details on what is going to change on Instagram are somewhat unclear. Mosseri said that the company will “temporarily reduce” the number of recommended posts and accounts you see in your feed. Looking to the future, however, Mosseri added that Instagram will likely increase that number again once it improves ranking and recommendation algorithms.
“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. “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.)
Finally, Mosseri also said that Instagram will halt the rollout of its controversial redesign. The new design showcased full-screen photos and full-screen videos, making the app very similar to platforms like TikTok. It had only rolled out to a “small percentage” of users.
The redesign of the Instagram feed has been heavily criticized, and even Mosseri acknowledged that “the usage data isn’t great.” As such, the company will “take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.”
The full interview is well worth a read (as is everything in the Platformer newsletter), which you can find here.
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