Instagram is walking back some of the changes to its product after being criticized by influencers, celebrities, and the general public this week.
A spokesperson from Meta told BuzzFeed News that Instagram is pausing a test that made the app open to full-screen videos and photos, as well as temporarily decreasing the number of recommendations in user's feeds.
"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," the spokesperson said.
Users have spent the last week complaining that those changes made the app seem too much like TikTok.
“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 in an interview for Casey Newton's Platformer newsletter, which broke the news on Thursday. “But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup [...] 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.”
This marks a departure from a video Mosseri posted Tuesday in which he had defended the changes as part of Instagram's constant evolution, even as he acknowledged they were "not good yet."
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (Facebook and Instagram's parent company), said during a quarterly earnings call Wednesday that recommended posts and accounts in feeds currently account for about 15% of what you see when you browse Facebook, and an even higher percentage on Instagram, and he estimates that the figure could grow to around 30% by the end of 2023.
But in the interview published Thursday, Mosseri told Newton that users should be "delighted" when they discover an account in their feed that they didn't follow before — and that's just not happening right now.
"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 said.
Unfortunately, Mosseri did not respond to allegations that he is in his Minions era.