Instagram has responded to a hugely popular campaign from users complaining that the app has gone bad.
In recent days, one of Instagram’s most popular posts was from a user who criticized the app and called for parent company Meta to “make Instagram Instagram again.” The post slams its attempts to borrow features from TikTok, its focus on video posts, and more.
Since it was first shared three days ago, it has been liked about 1.6 million times and shared by celebrities including the Kardashians. It’s also sparked a conversation about what’s happening with the app and the recent changes developers have made to how it works.
Now apparently Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has reacted to the campaign. Though he didn’t specifically reference the post, he did say that “a lot is happening on Instagram right now” and tried to explain the changes the app has recently undergone.
“We’re experimenting with a number of different changes to the app, 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 some of the concerns are the results of tests that are not yet fully completed. A new view that means images take up the entire screen is still at an experimental stage, he noted, and he admitted the new design “isn’t good yet and we need to get it to a good place,” before it becomes more widespread.
He also addressed criticism of the way the company has switched to video instead of photos. He gave no indication that the company would change direction, describing photos as “heritage” and warning that “as time goes on, more and more of Instagram will become videos”.
He claimed that the shift to video would happen whether or not Instagram changed the way it works, as more people share and engage with videos over photos. However, many of the recent changes to Instagram have been aimed specifically at improving videos on 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 launched “recommendations”. In recent weeks, Instagram has increased the number of posts that appear in a person’s feed from accounts they don’t follow — meaning the majority of the photos and videos that appear could be from strangers.
He said if those recommendations aren’t interesting, then the app is doing a poor job. But once again, he gave no indication that Instagram would change its focus, claiming that the recommendations were aimed at helping creators.
Mr Mosseri assured users that some things would not change on Instagram and that it would continue to support photos and allow people to see content from their friends. But he suggested more changes could be coming.
“That’s a lot of change all at once,” he concluded. “But do you know that a number of things are going to stay the same on Instagram.
“But we also have to develop further. Because the world is changing fast and we will have to change with it.”