Instagram U-Turns on TikTok-style revamp

Digital
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Following a backlash from online influencers, celebrities and users, Instagram has announced that the platform is pausing its recent rollout of new features.

Users of the platform criticised Instagram’s newly revamped display and feeds, which limited the number of posts users saw from friends, followers and family members and prioritised video content over pictures.

Critics of the change included US model Chrissy Teigen, who said that users “don’t wanna make videos”. Similarly, reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner shared an online ‘petition’ to ‘Make Instagram Instagram again’ and ‘stop trying to be TikTok’ on their stories.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri told The Verge that the test version of the revamped app would be phased out within weeks. “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,” he said.

He added that “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.”

Since, Instagram has announced that it is pausing the full-screen test and is temporarily decreasing the number of recommendations a user sees in their feed.

Why Instagram is attempting to mimic TikTok – the view from Spike

Since 2020, the rise of TikTok has been astronomic. According to recent data, the TikTok app has now been downloaded more than three billion times around the world. This makes it the first app not owned by Meta to reach this landmark.

It’s clear to see why Meta-owned Instagram would like to halt its rival’s influence and its threat to the company’s revenues, much like it did a couple of years ago with Snapchat by adding a Stories feature.

However, this time, attempting to halt a rival’s progress does not look as simple. After all, not only have the proposed changes been rejected by users, but Meta has also made a huge investment into the Metaverse, which has already led to a decline in revenues.