Instagram Update Paused After Backlash

Instagram app seen on smartphone
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News & Politics
Damir Mujezinovic

Billions of people around the world use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram, but TikTok has exploded in popularity in recent years.

The Chinese-owned app has attracted primarily young people, who seem to prefer short, snappy videos over photos and long-form content.

Inspired by TikTok's success, Big Tech platforms have tried to reorient themselves toward video content. The latest to do so is Instagram, and users are not too happy with the changes.

Instagram Update

As reported by USA Today, Instagram updated its platform in two major ways: it adjusted its algorithm so that it decides what users view, and added more video features.

Instagram changed its algorithm in a way that it shows users content from accounts they should enjoy, as opposed to displaying content from people users follow.

The algorithm now boosts videos, not photos, showing that Instagram is pivoting to being a video-first platform.

Users Respond

Many users did not like the changes.

Photographer Tati Bruening posted "Make Instagram Instagram Again," quickly garnering millions of likes.

Bruening's post caught the attention of reality TV stars Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who shared it in their Instagram stories, which attracted the attention of media from all over the world.

Bruening then started a Change.org petition, urging Instagram to reverse the update.

"The goal of this petition is to bring attention to what consumers want from Instagram and to start a conversation surrounding the health of our beloved app," the photographer wrote.

Instagram Responds

Instagram logo
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Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said the platform is temporarily pausing the update.

"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 said, as reported by CNN.

"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," he added.

Meta's Response

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Meta, Instagram's parent company, also responded to the criticism.

In a statement, the company acknowledged users' concerns, noting that the update is being paused.

"Based on our findings and community feedback, we're pausing the full-screen test on Instagram so we can explore other options, and we're temporarily decreasing the number of recommendations you see in your feed so we can improve the quality of your experience," the statement said.

"We recognize that changes to the app can be an adjustment, and while we believe that Instagram needs to evolve as the world changes, we want to take the time to make sure we get this right," it added.

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