The head of Instagram is weighing in on the platform’s future after celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner criticized changes to the app.
Kardashian and Jenner, who are among the top 10 most-followed users on the app, shared a post with their fans that read “make Instagram Instagram again.” The post, created by photographer @illumitati, asked the platform to stop trying to be like its video-sharing competitor TikTok.
“I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone,” read the post, which received over 1.9 million likes.
The post also directed users to a petition that asked Instagram to bring back “chronological” feeds, to not feel like TikTok, to be more photo-heavy and to “liste[n] to creators.”
Jenner’s criticism came over four years after a tweet she wrote about Snapchat’s redesign caused Snap’s stock to drop $1.3 billion in value.
Instagram has been focusing on making videos that take up more of a users’ screen, The New York Times reports. The platform recently announced it would make all its videos Reels – Instagram short-form videos – on the app.
Instagram has also started to incorporate more suggested posts on users’ feeds, a strategy much like TikTok’s “For You” page where users are met with suggested videos featuring dances and memes.
CNBC reports that users are able to see content from followers by clicking on the Instagram logo in the app and hitting “Following.”
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, responded to the criticism on Tuesday and said he believed the app would become more video-oriented “over time.”
“We’re going to continue to support photos, it’s part of our heritage, you know I love photos. I know a lot of you out there love photos, too,” Mosseri said. “That said, I need to be honest. I do believe more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time. We see this even if you change nothing. We see this even if you just look at chronological feed. We’re going to have to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos.”
Mosseri assured users that the new look to users’ feeds ― a “full-screen” experience similar to TikTok ― was just a “test.”
“It’s a test to a few percentage of people out there, and the idea is that a more full-screen experience, not only for video but for photos, might be a bit more fun and engaging experience,” he said. “But I also want to be clear, it’s not yet good.”
Facebook, which is also owned by Instagram’s parent company Meta, plans to add new aspects to its app’s design, including a “discovery engine” to compete with TikTok.