There was a point in time when Instagram was “the” social media platform to be on. However, thanks to standing out and remaining at the top, the social media platform lost its way.
Instagram built itself based on posts that were either digitally created images or photographs. Over the years, it added features like Instant Messaging from WhatsApp and statuses from Snapchat. Although these features were well received, one feature not well received was its idea to get into Shorts, or Short Videos, a form of content that TikTok popularised.
Seeing TikTok’s meteoric rise, the Meta-backed platform started a similar feature called Instagram Shorts. Now, although there wasn’t exactly a problem with how the feature was integrated into the platform, what became a problem, was how Instagram pushed shorts.
Late, a user’s feed would be filled with either short or video content from people they did not follow or advertisements. The situation had gotten so out of hand that most creators and small businesses who had built their careers and businesses on the platform started complaining that their reach had tanked. Even regular consumers began complaining that all they could see on their feeds was video content from people they did not follow.
The final nail in the coffin was when Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, two of the most followed people on the platform, posted a post saying that Instagram needs to be Instagram.
Amid all of this, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri doubled down on recent changes to the app and that video content, especially shorts and reels, was the future for the platform. This stance comes despite the backlash from scores of users, including some of the most prominent ones.
A new report suggests that Instagram will finally be heeding what its users have been complaining about.
Instagram will pause features that users have campaigned against and complained make the social network too much like TikTok.
“I’m glad we took a risk,” Mosseri said Thursday in a recent interview. “But we need to take a big step back and regroup. If we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough,” he added.
Mosseri argued that the shift to more video would happen even if the service changed nothing, as users increasingly share and seek video snippets. “If you look at what people share on Instagram, that is shifting more and more to video over time,” Mosseri said.
What this means for end users is still a little vague. Instagram certainly won’t be giving up on video content and not giving up on vertical shorts.
It might tweak its algorithms in such a way that users still get to see posts from the people they chose to follow, but most of their feed will still be dominated by short videos. The algorithm will still push Video Posts from creators who upload regularly.