After attracting widespread criticism from users for testing a new TikTok-like full-screen feed, Instagram is rolling back the changes for now. Company head Adam Mosseri told Platformer that the changes will be phased out “over next one to two weeks.” This is coming after Mosseri shared a video on Tuesday defending the changes amidst backlash and also reiterating the platform will now become more video-centric.
“For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great,” Mosseri told Platformer in an interview. “So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.” Not only will Instagram phase out the TikTok-like full-screen test, but the company will also reduce the amount of recommended posts on the feed until at least it can improve it. “When you discover something in your feed that you didn’t follow before, there should be a high bar — it should just be great,” Mosseri added. “You should be delighted to see it. And I don’t think that’s happening enough right now.”
On Wednesday, in an earnings call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that recommended posts and accounts in feeds by the algorithm account for around 15 percent of what people see on Facebook and that the percentage is even more on Instagram. Zuckerberg says he expects the percentage to double by the end of 2023. The company also disclosed that the amount of time people spent watching Reels grew by 30 percent in the last quarter, which means the company’s long-term strategy will still be centered on an algorithm-recommended feed and videos. Mosseri also quickly pointed out that the rollback of recent changes on Instagram is only temporary.
“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,” Mosseri told Platformer “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.”