Monday, September 26, 2022

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Instagram pauses TikTok style revamp amid backlash

Instagram says it is pausing a rollout of new features on its app following backlash online from users, influencers and celebrities.

Among the new features was an increase in recommended video content, in a similar style to rival app TikTok.

The display and feeds were criticised as people felt they were not seeing photos from friends and family as much.

Announcing the pause, Meta, Instagram’s parent company, said it wanted to “take the time” to get the changes right.

The revamp of Instagram towards more video content is believed to have been ignited by the soaring popularity of competitor TikTok – where users post and watch more video as opposed to static photographs.

According to data from digital analytics company Sensor Tower, the TikTok app has now been downloaded more than three billion times around the world – the first app not owned by Meta to reach this landmark.

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.

“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.”

Mr Mosseri had previously posted a video explaining the move towards video, saying that full-screen videos would be promoted over photographs.

But after some backlash, he followed it up with a series of tweets saying he wanted to “continue supporting photos”.

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