Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says the company is taking a “big step” back in the midst of making major changes after the app faced widespread criticism for its recent updates.
During an interview with Platformer on Thursday, Mosseri addressed how the company is going to “regroup” to discuss what’s next for Instagram.
“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.”
The interview comes in the wake of Instagram receiving complaints from multiple users, including Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, about the app focusing more on videos than photos. Mosseri first responded to social media users’ frustration in a Twitter video on Tuesday and said that while Instagram was going to become “more video-focused over time,” it would still “continue supporting photos”.
In his conversation with Platformer, Mosseri admitted that the recent feedback has made the brand decide to temporarily reduce that the amount of recommendations that users receive on their feed. He noted that he’s heard the complaints from those who clearly don’t feel “great” when they come across recommended posts and accounts.
“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 said. “You should be delighted to see it. And I don’t think that’s happening enough right now.”
“So I think we need to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feed that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations, and then — if and when we do — we can start to grow again,” he added.
Mosseri also noted that he knows people aren’t fond of the “designs” on their Instagram feeds, which is why the company is now figuring out how to “move forward”.
“For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great,” he continued. “So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.”
In his initial video on Twitter, Mosseri explained that Instagram had been “hearing a lot of concerns from” social media users, while it was “experimenting with a number of different changes”. He also emphasised that Instagram would still “support photos”, regardless of the fact that the app has a reels section, dedicated to short videos.
Along with Kardashian and Jenner — who have showed their support for a viral campaign, “Make Instagram Instagram again”— model Chrissy Teigen also expressed her disappointment over the app’s changes. On Twitter on Tuesday, she responded to Mosseri’s video and got into a debate with him, where she lamented how she does not want to “make videos” and simply wants to see her friends’ posts.