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Instagram hurries to roll back new changes amid backlash

Instagram app's splash screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram rushes to revert recent changes to its app amid backlash.
  • Well-known celebrities and users alike voice their disapproval of the full-screen home feed and increase in recommended posts.
  • Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says the removal will be temporary as the company looks to improve the way it will incorporate them in the future.

Instagram is looking to revert some changes after the platform faced criticism following user disagreements.

The backlash came after Instagram began testing a new full-screen home feed view. The platform also increased the number of recommended posts on the app as well as its focus on videos. However, all of these changes felt forced, and users were clearly not enjoying them. According to Platformer, Instagram is set to roll back these changes over the next couple of weeks while bringing improvements to its algorithm.

In an interview with Platformer, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said, "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. 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 new changes were very TikTok-like, as the video platform is one of Instagram's biggest competitors as it looks to pull in and retain new and existing users. With that, Instagram's changes pushed for more video watching over photo viewing. The recent wave of criticism surfaced after well-known celebrities Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian became vocal about the platform's latest changes. Their disapproval, as Platformer mentions, spilled over onto Twitter, where people's disagreement with Instagram grew larger.

Alex Mosseri continued speaking on the subject of recommended posts, saying, "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."

CEO Mark Zuckerberg of Meta said on Wednesday that those types of recommended posts account for around 15% of content on Facebook and even more on Instagram (via The Verge). He then said those figures could go up to 30% by 2023. However, this is something Instagram users aren't really getting along with and why Adam Mosseri is looking to temporarily reduce the amount of recommended content people see for the time being.

Instagram Reels is something the company mentioned in Meta's earnings call as being a point of focus. Instagram Reels is another way the platform is slowly trying to shift into TikTok, with the company aiming to turn all videos posted to the platform into Reels.

However, until these changes appear, users can take a sigh of relief as Instagram takes a step back and continues to look for better ways to improve how it'll implement these new changes in the future.

Nickolas Diaz