The head of Instagram has suggested that users’ behaviour is to blame for the much-criticised recent changes to the app.
In recent days, there has been intense and public backlash to a number of changes made on Instagram, including a switch towards video over photos, a re-design that makes posts bigger, and an intense focus on recommendations that hides content from friends and shows posts from other people instead.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, initially tweeted a video in which he said that some of the more controversial features were tests, and admitted that they had not yet gone well. But he said that the app was committed both to moving away from photos and to its recommendation tools.
Now in a thread of other tweets, he suggested that those recommendations were being shown in part because people’s friends were not posting enough content.
He said that he would be keen for more content from friends to show but that there was not enough “growth” there.
He did not explain why that meant that Instagram could not show more posts from friends in the feed, as it once did.
He also did not address the fact that Instagram controls the algorithm that decides which posts show in the feed, and thus could presumably opt to encourage users to post more into that feed by showing their content more often.
“One thing I hear a lot is people asking to see more friend content in Feed. I’d love for there to be more friend content in feed, but all the growth in photos and videos from friends has been in stories and in DMs,” he wrote in a series of tweets.
“We will continue to show photos and videos from friends towards the top of Feed whenever we can, but the best way to keep up with friends seems to be with the other parts of Instagram.
“That said, if you want to make sure to never miss anything from a friend, or from any account for that matter, add that account to your Favorites and we will show their feed posts at the top of Feed.”
In his earlier video, Mr Mosseri also pointed out that it was possible to “snooze” recommendations and leave space for more content from friends. That is done by clicking the “X” in the corner of any recommendation and selecting the option to hide similar posts – but that will only work for 30 days, after which the posts will return.