Instagram head Adam Mosseri has explained some of the recent changes on the platform following widespread criticism about the app’s increasing focus on videos. Mosseri’s explanations come a day after celebrity sisters Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner criticized Instagram for neglecting photos and focusing on videos in an apparent effort to emulate TikTok. In separate Instagram Stories on Monday, Jenner and Kardashian bashed the platform, saying it should “Stop trying to be tiktok (sic).”
The duo also started a Change.org petition called ‘Make Instagram Instagram Again’ that has already received around 150,000 signatures, making it one of the most-supported petitions on the website. Some of the demands in the petition include bringing back chronological timelines — something that Instagram’s sister app Facebook did earlier this month. It also urged Instagram to “go back to our roots” as a photo-sharing app by reworking its algorithm to favor photos over videos. Another demand from the celebrity sisters is to listen to the creators rather than make them adapt their content to the changing algorithms on the platform.
Despite severe criticism from influential creators and the popularity of the online petition, Instagram seems to be in no mood to take a backward step. In a video posted to Twitter earlier today, Mosseri doubled down on Instagram’s increased focus on videos and said that the app would become even more video-focused over time. According to him, most people like to watch videos on Instagram, which drives more user interactions, including likes and shares. However, he said the platform will continue to support photos like it always has.
Mosseri also revealed that Instagram is testing a full-screen feed, although it is currently available only to a handful of users. According to him, the full-screen experience is still a work in progress and will need to be improved before it is rolled out to more people. Mosseri also clarified the company’s stance on algorithmic recommendations, which are posts that appear in users’ feeds from accounts that they do not follow. According to him, these are a vital way for users to discover new content and help creators reach a larger user base.
Following Mosseri’s clarifications, many users lashed out at him and at Instagram for what they perceived to be the company’s tone-deafness. While some users tried to remind Mosseri that not all Instagram posts have to be Reels, others complained about the algorithmic recommendations, saying that they no longer get to see posts from their friends and favorite creators at the top of their feed. In addition, others were unhappy that Instagram is promoting video creators at the expense of graphic designers, photographers and other visual artists who helped build Instagram into the platform it is today.