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Instagram responds to hugely popular campaign from users who complain it has got worse

·3-min read
 (dpa/AFP via Getty Images)
(dpa/AFP via Getty Images)

Instagram has responded to a hugely popular campaign from users who complain that the app has got worse.

In recent days, one of Instagram’s most popular posts has been from a user criticising the app and demanding that parent company Meta should “make Instagram Instagram again”. The post criticises its attempts to take features from TikTok, its focus on video posts, and more.

Since it was first shared, three days ago, it has been liked some 1.6 million times and been shared by celebrities including the Kardashians. It has also ignited a conversation about what is happening to the app, and the recent changes developers have made to how it works.

Now Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has seemingly responded to the campaign. While he did not explicitly reference the post, he said there was “a lot happening on Instagram right now” and attempted to explain the changes the app has recently undergone.

“We’re experimenting with a number of different changes to the app, and so we’re hearing a lot of concerns from all of you,” he says at the beginning of a video posted to Twitter.

He said that some of the concerns were the results of tests that had not yet been fully finished. A new view that means pictures take up the whole of the screen is still in an experimental stage, he noted, and he admitted that the new design is “not yet good, and we’re going to have to get it to a good place” before it rolls out more widely.

He also addressed criticism over the way that the company has shifted to videos over photos. He did not give any indication that the company would change that direction, describing photos as “heritage” and warning that “more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time”.

He claimed that the switch to video would happen whether or not Instagram changed the way it works, as more people are both sharing and engaging with videos over photos. But many of the recent changes to Instagram have been specifically aimed at boosting videos within its feed and other parts of the app – which in turn has encouraged users to share those videos more in the first place.

Mr Mosseri also addressed Instagram’s recently introduced “recommendations”. Over recent weeks, Instagram has increased the number of posts that will appear in a person’s feed from accounts that they do not follow – meaning that the majority of photos and videos that show might be from strangers.

He said that if those recommendations were not interesting, then the app was doing a bad job. But once again he did not give any indication that Instagram would be changing its focus, claiming that the recommendations were aimed at helping creators.

Mr Mosseri assured users that some things would not be changing on Instagram, and that it would continue to support photos and allow people to see content from their friends. But he suggested that yet more changes could be coming.

“This is a lot of change all at once,” he concluded. “But know that a number of things on Instagram are going to stay the same.

“But we’re going to also need to evolve. Because the world is changing quickly, and we’re going to have to change along with it.”

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