The Instagram chief is weighing the platform’s future after celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner criticized changes to the app.
Kardashian and Jenner, who are among the top 10 most followed users on the app, shared a post with his fans that said “make Instagram Instagram again”. The post, created by photographer @illumitati, called on the platform to stop trying to be like its video-sharing competitor TikTok.
“I just want to see cute pictures of my friends. Sincerely everyone,” read the post, which received more than 1.9 million likes.
The post also directed users to a petition asking Instagram to bring back “chronological” feeds, not feel like TikTok, have more photos, and “listen.”[n] to the creators.”
Jenner’s criticism came four years after a tweet she wrote about redesigning Snapchat caused Snap’s stock price to drop by $1.3 billion.
Instagram has focused on making videos that take up more of the users screen, The New York Times reports. The platform recently announced that it would make all of its Reels (short Instagram videos) videos in the app.
Instagram has also started incorporating more suggested posts into users’ feeds, a strategy very similar to TikTok’s “For You” page, where users receive suggested videos featuring dances and memes.
CNBC reports that users can View followers’ content by clicking the Instagram logo in the app and pressing “Following”.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, responded to criticism on Tuesday and said he believed the app would become more video-oriented “over time.”
“We will continue to support the photos, it is part of our legacy, you know I love the photos. I know a lot of you love photos too,” Mosseri said. “That said, I need to be honest. I think more and more Instagram will convert to video over time. We see this even if you don’t change anything. We see this even if you only look at the chronological feed. We will have to lean into that change as we continue to support the photos.”
Mosseri assured users that the new look for user feeds, a TikTok-like “full screen” experience, was just a “test.”
“It’s a test for a small percentage of people, and the idea is that a fuller screen experience, not only for videos but also for photos, could be a slightly more fun and engaging experience,” he said. “But I also want to be clear, it’s not good yet.”
Facebook, which is also owned by Instagram’s parent company Meta, plans to add new aspects to its app design, including a “discovery engine” to compete with TikTok.