Dear Instagram, please stop trying to be Tiktok. Sincerely, the Internet. That’s essentially what Instagram users have been telling the app for so many months now. But complaints have reached an all-time high after Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri shared a video of himself addressing the unpopularity of the new features and why they’re happening anyway.
👋🏼 There’s a lot happening on Instagram right now.
I wanted to address a few things we’re working on to make Instagram a better experience.
Please let me know what you think 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/x1If5qrCyS
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 26, 2022
“I need to be honest,” he said. “I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.”
“Now, if you’re seeing things in your Feed that are recommendations that you’re not interested in, that means that we’re doing a bad job ranking, and we need to improve,” added Mosseri. “But we’re going to continue to try and get better at recommendations because we think it’s one of the most effective and important ways to help creators reach more people.”
His remarks were followed with a lot of backlash from users, content creators, journalists, and even celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Chrissy Teigen. So if they want to keep all these users on their app, maybe the crew behind the app needs to listen to their users and take these 8 recommendations to make Instagram better again.
Stop putting so many things in one app
I wonder if Instagram realizes there’s such thing as “too much”
Combining all social features on one platform doesn’t make it better
— boba bria (@bria_sullivan) August 6, 2020
If we wanted to see both videos and photos, there’s Facebook. If we wanted more vertical videos, we’d go to Tiktok. What we want to see are photos we actually care about, which is why we’re on Instagram. But that very same app is making the very thing we want so hard to find amid the mountain of suggested videos and ads on the feed, which is just making everyone want to uninstall it. It just defeats the purpose of the app’s whole rehaul.
Which is why we’re asking Instagram to…
Focus on photos
Little miss I want to be tiktok https://t.co/9aPd4if3JT
— Rukki Rae 🦋 (@RaeBeaute) July 26, 2022
Instagram should just focus on its core feature: sharing photos. That was the original purpose of the app, so instead of seeing videos and other sorts of new features, we want to see more photos as we did before. As that change.org petition said, make Instagram Instagram again.
Bring back the chronological feed
All right I’m gonna do it. The new Instagram lay out is really annoying. I just want the people I follow in chronological order. I get that “everyone” has to compete with TikTok but can “someone” just show me photos of people I follow in chronological order? 👵
— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) July 27, 2022
It’s literally in the app name: INSTAgram was made for INSTAntaneous updates from family and friends and all the users we follow on the app. Well, it used to be. Now, instead of seeing the latest posts from their following, users are being forced to consume content from days ago or even from people they don’t follow. Which brings to our next point…
Keep suggestions in the Explore tab
instagram is so pointless now. The HOME feed should be for people you follow/want to see, and the EXPLORE page is for other shit. Stop with the merger!!!!
— mina le (@gremlita) July 27, 2022
Our home feeds are full of suggested photos and reels from people we don’t even follow. We would actually go to their profile and add them to our following list if we wanted to see their content. Plus, putting such suggestions on the home feed completely defeats the purpose of the Explore tab. If we wanted to find new accounts to follow, we would scroll through them instead. Isn’t that why Instagram created the Explore tab?
Let users see their friends
Instagram is one major product feature away from being pretty irrelevant
IG has evolved into an app to please advertisers (video-based) and creators (not friends)
People want friends photos, not TikTok reels
— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) July 26, 2022
Speaking of suggestions, we’re also tired of seeing so many random people on our home feeds. Again, if we wanted to see content from other people, we’d just visit the Explore tab. Please let users see photos of their family and friends — not randos!
Stories > Reels
Stickers ruined whatsapp
Memes ruined twitter
Reels ruined Instagram
Stories ruined Tiktok
Status ruined Facebook
— Junu (@JunuTweets) July 21, 2022
Before Reels was introduced on Instagram, users usually uploaded their vertical videos in their Stories to keep their feed curated. But now, the home feed is just filled with a slew of Reels that no one asked for. Maybe let’s keep the vertical videos on Stories. The Highlights section exists for a reason, you know? Maybe create a separate tab for Reels! We’d go there if we wanted to see vertical photos and videos on Instagram.
Personally, I’m sick of the ads. Can’t move two scrolls without seeing an ad. Now I’m getting two ads between the stories of people I follow. Hang it up! @instagram
— #KillTheBill | audacity (@nana_agyepong_) July 27, 2022
When we open Instagram, we scroll a few times to see a couple of photos and a few reels, then we immediately come to an ad. Then the process just repeats. We’re being inundated with so many ads that it just diminishes the overall user experience. We get that it’s a way for the platform to make money, but if that comes at the cost of losing users due to the unfriendly UX, what’s the point?
Listen to the community
The last time Kylie Jenner complained about a social media site, Snapchat lost $1.3B, so yeah Instagram has a problem. pic.twitter.com/ugipc9abb6
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) July 25, 2022
Users have been airing their concerns and complaints about the changes for months (even years in some cases). But the app seems to just barrel through anyway, rolling out more features that go against users’ requests. It’s time for Instagram to listen to its users — even Kylie Jenner hates the new changes, and the last time she spoke out against an app, it crashed and burned, losing 1.3 billion dollars.
Well, at least now, Instagram is somewhat listening. Following the backlash, the app is set to put a pause on the changes, including the test version featuring full-screen photos and videos. They also aim to tone down the recommendations on users’ feeds.
“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 told tech newsletter Platformer. “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.”
Good decision. Now, please bring back chronological order and highlight photos on the feed instead. Thanks!