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Instagram U-Turns on Big Video Update After Online Backlash

1 August 2022
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Instagram U-Turns on Big Video Update After Online Backlash

Instagram’s push to bring a TikTok-style makeover to its app has backfired after scores of celebrities, influencers and online users criticised its latest update.

Just days after rolling out a test version of its app with a new full-screen feed and a tweaked algorithm that recommends more video content, Instagram said it will roll back the changes in the coming weeks.

The surprise U-turn came after the update was widely criticised online.

Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian both joined a viral campaign urging the platform to “Make Instagram Instagram again”.

Other popular content creators, including Toni Tone, expressed frustration at Instagram’s attempts to make the app more like TikTok, which has soared in popularity since the pandemic.

The recent changes have seen video content formats such as Stories and Reels dominate users’ feeds.

However, the latest update, which increases the number of video recommendations in place of content from followed accounts, and features a full-screen display, appears to have been a step too far.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said on Friday that it has to take risks to remain competitive but confirmed the changes would be phased out.

He added: “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.”

Instagram has traditionally been a photo-based app but the rise of video content in recent years has resulted in major updates to court new audiences.

While that is unlikely to change, Mosseri said the platform will “continue supporting photos”.

A Meta spokesperson also confirmed the full-screen tests were being paused and that recommendations in feeds were already being dialled back.

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