LONDON: Instagram, the popular photo and video sharing social network, announced on Thursday that it will reverse some of the changes it introduced earlier this week.
The decision comes after the Meta-owned social network was at the center of a user backlash for changing its traditional vertical scrolling feed to a full-screen one. The company was accused of mimicking TikTok at the expense of its most loyal users.
“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,” said Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri. “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 will also reduce the number of recommended posts and ads in the app as it promises to improve its algorithms.
The design changes were introduced as part of Instagram’s efforts to compete with TikTok and keep up with the broader shift in user behavior that has people turning away from static photos in favor of videos.
“Redesigns often incur the wrath of users who are hostile to change, but in this case the high-profile dissatisfaction was backed up by Instagram’s own internal data,” Mosseri said. “The trend toward users watching more video is real, and pre-dated the rise of TikTok. But it’s clear that people actually do dislike Instagram’s design changes.”
Earlier this week, the influencers Kylie Jenner and her sister Kim Kardashian took to social media to express their disappointment about the new features and posted memes asking the company to “Make Instagram Instagram again.”
“For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great,” Mosseri said. “So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.”