Instagram U-turns on TikTok style rollout after backlash from users

Will Taylor

Instagram has paused a rollout of new TikTok style features on its app following backlash from users, influencers and celebrities, the BBC reports.

Among the new features was an increase in recommended video content, in a similar style to rival TikTok. The display and feeds were criticised online as users felt they were not seeing photos from friends and family as much.

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 made due to the popularity of competitor TikTok.

Data from digital analytics company Sensor Tower reports that TikTok has been downloaded more than 3bn times globally and is the first app not owned by Meta to do so.

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram at Instagram said: "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. But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup."

Reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who were part of the backlash, also shared an online petition to “Make Instagram Instagram again” on their stories. 

Mosseri had previously posted a video explaining the move towards video, saying that full-screen videos would be promoted over photographs. But after backlash, he followed it up with a series of tweets saying he wanted to “continue supporting photos”.