in light of user criticism, the application is pausing its transformation into TikTok

The user sling will have forced Instagram to hit the pause button. The head of the social network, Adam Mosseri, has actually announced on Thursday, July 28, that the application will temporarily suspend configuration changes that allowed it to imitate its rival TikTok, in an interview with the specialized newsletter Platformer.

After a user campaign against these new features, the application particularly intends to stop a test on the display in the use of photos and videos in full screen, as is usual on TikTok. The number of contents “recommended” to users by its algorithm, will also decrease, at least temporarily.

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Urges app to ‘stop trying to be TikTok’

“I’m glad we took a risk – if we don’t fail once in a while, we’re not bold enough”said Mr Mosseri on the sidelines of this announcement.

The social network for sharing photos and videos belonging to the Meta group (ex-Facebook) was particularly hampered this week when the two sisters and celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner signed and forwarded an online petition calling for the application to “will be Instagram again” and to “stop trying to be TikTok”.

The petition was started by fashion photographer Tati Bruening on Friday 22 July. The text points out the natural differences between the two social networks, and the text asks that Instagram once again be “just like before”. “There’s no need to overcomplicate things, we just want to see what our friends are posting,” “back to Instagram’s roots”is thus written.

A message that was widely applauded and passed on by users unhappy with this change that was implemented for several weeks. By July 29, the petition had 232,358 signatures, as the photographer’s post distributing the text had more than two million “likes.”

Meta, like Google on YouTube, has already copied the format of short and captivating videos from TikTok with resp. “Wheels” and “Shorts”. At the end of January, the Californian group had acknowledged that certain competing platforms were hurting its growth, especially for its audience of young people.

“People have a lot of choices about how they want to spend their time. And apps like TikTok are growing really fast.”had then emphasized Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and head of Meta.

A transformation slowed down, but which is still on the agenda

Unlike traditional social networks, TikTok does not highlight user contacts. Its success is largely due to its algorithm, which selects videos from creators based on people’s tastes.

While Meta has just seen its revenue drop for the first time in its history, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed this briefing by the group on Wednesday, July 27th. He said that around 15% of the content seen by Facebook and Instagram users currently comes from algorithm recommendations.

“These figures should at least double before the end of the year”, he specified. But the company seems to have finally decided to slow down. “We have to take a step back (…) and came back with a new formula”noted Adam Mosseri on Thursday.

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“All these worries will subside”estimated Wednesday Debra Aho Williamson, analyst at Insider intelligence, about the users’ sling. “But it shows that Instagram needs to succeed in its evolution or risk losing some of its biggest fans. “Its US Facebook user base is barely growing, and while Instagram is helping to move the boat forward, we’re starting to see a slowdown with teenagers and young adults.”she detailed.

The world with AFP

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