Entertainment: Instagram kills changes and will phase out full-screen videos and photos after celebrities complain

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Instagram is rolling back a recently released version of its app that features full-screen videos after being met with harsh criticism from influencers and celebrities.

The social media platform has been testing full-screen videos and photos, but numerous Instagram users, including famous sisters Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, complained the app was copying rival TikTok and shared a petition to 'Make Instagram Instagram Again.'

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri told Casey Newton's Platformer on Thursday that the some of the changes will be phased out, but while the number of algorithmically recommended videos people see will be reduced, he says the number will rise again when the company feels the technology has improved.

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'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.

'But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] 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.'

Instagram has been testing full-screen videos and photos, but numerous users, including famous influencers and celebs complained the app was copying rival TikTok © Provided by Daily Mail Instagram has been testing full-screen videos and photos, but numerous users, including famous influencers and celebs complained the app was copying rival TikTok Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner led the movement to 'Make Instagram Instagram Again.' The pair voiced distaste for the app's new redesign that is similar to TikTok © Provided by Daily Mail Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner led the movement to 'Make Instagram Instagram Again.' The pair voiced distaste for the app's new redesign that is similar to TikTok

The head of Instagram has previously admitted that changes to the app were 'not yet good' after Kim Kardashian joined the chorus of criticism about alterations to the photo-sharing site over claims it is obsessed with taking on TikTok.

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Instagram is increasingly promoting its Reels function - a short-video feature that seems to have taken a page from TikTok's playbook.

On Tuesday, Mosseri insisted that the changes were necessary and here to stay - while acknowledging there had been teething problems.

But by Thursday, the Instagram boss told Platformer that the company was temporarily scaling back the use of its recommendation algorithm, which places content in users' feeds from accounts they don't already follow.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said Thursday that the company is temporarily scaling back the use of its recommendation algorithm, which places content in users' feeds from accounts they don't already follow © Provided by Daily Mail Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said Thursday that the company is temporarily scaling back the use of its recommendation algorithm, which places content in users' feeds from accounts they don't already follow

'When you discover something in your feed that you didn't follow before, there should be a high bar — it should just be great,' Mosseri told Platformer.

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'You should be delighted to see it. And I don't think that's happening enough right now. So I think we need to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feeds that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations, and then — if and when we do — we can start to grow again.'

Mosseri has said that the app will continue to support photos, but said Thursday that Reels were likely the future of Instagram's feed. He claimed that 'personal sharing' of photos was happening more in stories and in direct messages than in the feed.


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'Feed could be, and to some degree is, a place to discover things to talk about with your friends. With Reels, we're seeing this happen a lot,' he said. 'Reels are inspiring a lot of conversations — people just send funny videos to their friends that they've discovered in feed.'

Mosseri said this shift is occurring in response to user behavior and added that people whose screens were altered were part of a test group, ahead of a wider rollout.

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He said they believed a more full-screen experience — for both photos and videos — 'might be a more fun and engaging experience'.

But users have said they're sick of having random strangers' posts foisted on them, and that they only want to see their contacts.

Critics have bombarded Instagram executives with pleas to stop the push for video, and return Instagram to its simple picture origins.

On Monday, Kardashian and her sister Kylie Jenner - who is the most-followed woman on Instagram - begged Adam Mosseri to rethink the video plan.

'Make Instagram Instagram again,' they both posted.

'Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute photos of my friends.'

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, launched Reels in August 2020 in response to the growing dominance TikTok had in the video sharing market. It now works across Instagram and Facebook.

Mosseri admitted the changes to the app were not perfect yet, but said they were essential © Provided by Daily Mail Mosseri admitted the changes to the app were not perfect yet, but said they were essential Mosseri is pictured with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. Meta now owns Instagram © Provided by Daily Mail Mosseri is pictured with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. Meta now owns Instagram

On Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors on the company's second-quarter earnings call that the company planned to more than double the amount of recommended content in Facebook and Instagram feeds by the end of next year, Insider reported.

A little more than 15 percent of content in Instagram users' feeds is recommended content, Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg also said in the call that viewing Reels accounted for about 20 percent of the time people spend on Instagram.

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