Until now, the content viewed on Instagram was mainly based on the users’ contacts. In order to offer a serious competition to the video platform TikTok, which is especially popular among young people, Instagram has changed that in the meantime. Rather than scrolling through the feed through photos of cats and the holidays of family and friends, some surprised users have experienced a flood of clips from other autoplayed accounts in the past few days — with some test users also in full screen mode.
A development that the Instagram community didn’t want to face so easily. “Make Instagram Instagram again. Stop trying to be TikTok. I just want to see cute pictures of my friends,” one photographer wrote in an Instagram post that has been liked and shared more than 2 million times.
Among other things, high-profile Instagram users like reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and her half-sister Kylie Jenner, who both have a lot of access on Instagram — and the way the platform has worked so far, including the app’s beauty products have made a lot of money .
Instagram head retreats
After a week of mounting criticism, Instagram announced in an interview with its online newsletter Platformer Thursday that it will withdraw its recent changes. The beta version of the app, which showed photos and videos in full screen mode, will be phased out in the next week or two, and Instagram will reduce the number of recommended posts in the app to improve its algorithms.
“I’m glad we took a risk – if we don’t fail now and then, we’re not thinking enough or we’re not brave enough,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in the interview. However, with new feed designs, people are getting frustrated and are using the platform less, usage data shows.
Temporarily reduce featured posts
In addition, content producers who have not yet relied on videos but on images are concerned. We’re currently working on helping young artists make a better breakthrough. “I think we need to take a big step back and regroup and see how to move forward,” Mosseri said. Among other things, they want to temporarily reduce the number of recommended posts and accounts. However, in the long run, the company wants to return to relying more on recommended articles and videos.
Videos simply hook users to their screens for longer – allowing companies to collect more data and sell ads. Like Google with its YouTube video service, the parent company of Instagram Meta, to which Facebook is also affiliated, is increasingly focusing on short videos that are recommended to users with the help of a powerful algorithm. Through his “shorts”, it is quite clear that YouTube is copying the methods of its Chinese competitor, TikTok.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said that posts and accounts featured in feeds currently make up about 15 percent of content on Facebook and will at least double by the end of the year. Regardless of criticism from the Chinese company, which recently made headlines with dubious challenges, the group wants to gradually become the TikTok version. “People have a lot of choices in terms of how they want to spend their time. Apps like TikTok are growing very fast,” Zuckerberg said.
First drop in sales since 2012
Recent developments in the exchange confirm that the group’s concerns about the future of its platforms are justified. It was announced on Wednesday that Meta had experienced a drop in sales for the first time since its IPO in 2012, then still under the Facebook name. In the second quarter from April to June, the total fell 1 percent year-on-year to $28.8 billion (28.3 billion euros), and profits collapsed 36 percent to $6.7 billion.
Facebook reportedly lost 2 million monthly users – the number was 2.93 billion worldwide in the second quarter. However, contrary to analysts’ expectations, Facebook managed to increase the number of daily users to 1.97 billion. In the second quarter, a total of 3.65 billion people worldwide visited at least one of the group’s four platforms, namely Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger, every month.
“This is a time that requires more intensity, and I expect we’ll be doing more with less,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. He wants to slow the pace of investment, among other things by “reducing employee growth next year”. Meta has nearly 84,000 employees worldwide, up 32 percent from last year.
Insider Intelligence analyst Debra Aho Williamson said Meta needs to get back to its “basics.” Zuckerberg sees the future of the Internet in the so-called metaverse where users work, play and communicate using avatars. That’s why Facebook renamed it Meta in October.
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