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Instagram CEO says shift to video 'not yet good' after Kardashian-Jenner complaint

Instagram CEO says shift to video 'not yet good' after Kardashian-Jenner complaint

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Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has acknowledged that its shift to video is "not yet good" after media outlets reported that Kim Kardashian (pictured left) and Kylie Jenner (pictured right) both criticised the platform for trying to be like TikTok. Kardashian and Jenner both said on their story update that read: "Make Instagram Instagram again. (Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, everyone".

Both individuals are influential voices on social media. Kardashian has 326 million Instagram followers while Jenner has 360 million. Jenner's power was also seen in 2018 when she tweeted that she no longer used Snapchat following the app's redesign. This resulted in the company's stock falling more than 8% that day.

In a video posted on Twitter, Mosseri explained that Instagram is testing a new full-screen version of the feed on a few percentage of users. "The idea is that a more full-screen experience not only for videos but for photos might be a more fun and engaging experience," he explained.

However, he acknowledged that it is "not yet good" and that the team was going to have to "get it to a good place" if it wants to roll it out to the rest of the Instagram community. He also reiterated a few times in the video that Instagram will continue to support photos as it is part of its heritage.

That said, more of Instagram is going to shift towards video over time. According to him, what users are sharing on Instagram is also gradually shifting towards videos. Based on what people like, consume and view on Instagram, Mosseri also said it's shifting to video over time even if the team stops making changes. As such, Instagram knows it has to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos.

He also addressed concerns about recommendations, which are posts in users' feeds from accounts that they do not follow. The idea is to help users discover new and interesting things on Instagram they might not know may exist.

"If you are seeing things on your feed that are recommendations that you aren't interested in, that means we are doing a bad job and we need to improve," he said. Nonetheless, Instagram vows to get better and come up with more effective and important ways to help creators reach more people.

(Read also: Analysis: Facebook 'Reels' in another clone as TikTok battles headwinds)

Several netizens responded to Mosseri's tweet, echoing the sentiments of Kardashian and Jenner. Many told Instagram to stop trying to be TikTok and that they don't want to make videos. One netizen even dug out his tweet to Mosseri in 2021 which said that Instagram was not made for TikTok videos but rather to share images. Others also commented that the algorithm has changed drastically and as a result, content from their favourite accounts are no longer shown and photo post engagements have also dipped.

There is even a petition on online titled "Make Instagram Instagram Again", listing out users' demands such as having chronological timelines, stop trying to be TikTok, an algorithm that favours photos, and a platform that listens to creators. "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 petition said. 

Separately, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously told employees during a call that Instagram Reels is "a huge opportunity" for the company but also acknowledged that it was "still only around 15% of the size of TikTok", Reuters reported.

Related articles:
Facebook launches Instagram Reels in Singapore
Instagram unveils new home page, monetises ‘Reels’ and ‘Shop’ tabs
TikTok's parent ByteDance bumps Q2 US lobbying spending by over 100% to US$2.1m
TikTok launches Follow Me programme targeting SMB growth

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