Wednesday, August 3, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Instagram Walks Back Feed Design Changes

John Gruber:

If you haven’t been paying attention to Instagram lately, they’ve been steadily dialing up the algorithmic content users see in their feeds, especially video. More stuff in your feed from accounts you don’t follow, selected by machine learning algorithms, at the expense of stuff from people and brands you have chosen to follow. To top it off, they recently rolled out a limited test to a small — but not that small — number of users that turned those users’ timelines into something basically like TikTok: full-screen videos (and some images) that you go through one at a time.

Casey Newton:

Instagram will walk back some recent changes to the product following a week of mounting criticism, the company said today. A test version of the app that opened to full-screen photos and videos will be phased out over the next one to two weeks, and Instagram will also reduce the number of recommended posts in the app as it works to improve its algorithms.

[…]

The changes come amid growing user frustration over a series of changes to Instagram designed to help it better compete with TikTok and navigate the broader shift in user behavior away from posting static photos toward watching more video.

[…]

Mosseri made clear that the retreat Instagram announced today is not permanent. Threats to the company’s dominance continue to mount: TikTok is the most downloaded app in the world, the most popular website, and the most watched video company.

Nick Heer:

My own Instagram use went to near-zero after I received these changes. I am surely not representative of the wider Instagram user base, but it does not surprise me that enough people found it revolting to affect the company’s metrics.

[…]

I would not bet on seeing fewer posts in your feed over the long term from accounts you do not follow; these changes are still coming, just later.

Previously:

3 Comments

I find these "chasing the leader" changes interesting. Surely, Instagram must realize that TikTok already exists. If it changes to be more like TikTok, it will alienate the people who liked it for what it was, while the people who love a TikTok-like experience will most likely stick to the original.

You have to keep in mind that this is a company run by Mark Zuckerberg, who had proven to be neither incentive bit good at operations.

There is no big strategic think here, just Zuckerberg sniveling and posturing and calling for war.

They see Instagram as a brand rather than a product or service. And the point of the brand is too put ads Infront of eyeballs, not delighting users.

*Inventive nor good

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