They want the old Instagram app back. Bruening was in her hotel room on Friday when she took out her phone and browsed Instagram. Her Instagram feed had gone full screen since she had last opened it: Each post took up the entirety of the screen, and videos played continuously in the background. She couldn’t see the following photo or video until she swiped to it, unlike before.
Ads and “Reels” from people Ms. Bruening doesn’t follow flooded her feed instead of posts from her pals. She thought the updates had made the app virtually unrecognisable. “Make Instagram Instagram Again,” she wrote in a text message that would soon go viral.
Ms. Bruening said, “I was just irritated.” The Instagram we used to have is no longer here.” “This is bizarre in the extreme.” In addition to Kim and Kylie Jenner’s combined 326 million and 361 million Instagram followers, Ms. Bruening’s tweet imploring the platform to “stop trying to be tiktok” was reshared by countless others. The post was accompanied by a petition from Ms. Bruening. According to Change.org, over 165,000 people from over 30 countries have signed it.
In 2020, Instagram released reels, which are looping videos in the style of TikTok. Since then, reels have taken over the platform. As a result of the response, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri confirmed his commitment to giving priority to these short videos, which he first stated in June 2021. A few months ago, the app began testing a new feed that shows photographs and movies in full screen to a small number of users.
Only a portion of the problem is Instagram’s interface overhaul. There is a greater fear here: that the old Instagram, which was filled with friends, is being replaced by a TikTok clone packed with strangers, and that this worry may stay longer than previous redesign grumbles. Joanna Stern first noticed this trend a few months ago, and it’s only getting more popular.
Mosseri stated that Instagram is emphasising on entertainment and creators, with friends showing more frequently in Stories (short photo/video snippets accessed outside the main feed) and direct messaging.
However, despite the change to video, Mr. Mosseri assured users that photographs would remain and that friends’ activity would continue to appear at the top of their feeds. While the world is changing rapidly, “we’re also going to need to develop,” Mr. Mosseri said in his video. According to a spokesperson for Instagram and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., the app will continue to grow. “We know that modifications to the app can be a challenge, and we want to take the time to ensure that we get this right,” she said.
There is a good chance that you do not already have this new full-screen feed interface, but you may know someone who does. In June, Chelsea Mack, a 25-year-old Montrealer, acquired the new version. She claimed that the new design has altered her app usage habits: A few times a day, she would spend 10 minutes or more scrolling on the platform. After around three minutes of browsing through posts from individuals she doesn’t follow, she says, she gets annoyed.
Also, her friends who have received the update that they missed her posts complain that they can’t view them because the information in her feed is changing so frequently. As a result of Instagram’s decision to focus on TikTok, she believes that other photo-sharing applications that focus on sharing photos with friends, such as popular upstart BeReal, may gain a foothold.
Users that participate in the full-screen test are unable to opt out of participating in the test. However, they have the option to select a different stream. A new Instagram feed was introduced in March that only shows posts from accounts the user follows, and a new feed that only shows posts from the user’s favourite accounts.
Marketing expert and CEO of consumer research firm Front Row Insights Jayne Charneski believes that Instagram will soon lose its appeal to users for a variety of reasons.
A generational transition is to blame, Ms. Charneski added. The younger Generation Z was raised on FaceTime video conversations, whereas Millennials were raised on carefully chosen images.
Ms. Charneski explained that TikTok was created because “they’re comfortable with casual unpolished video content.” So, “It’s now almost like Instagram is trying to foist the new generation’s values on an older audience.”
What you are capable of
If you’re fed up with Instagram’s feed updates, there are some things you can take.
Only content from the individuals you follow or 50 accounts handpicked by you can be seen in the Following and Favorites feeds. Many Instagram users have expressed a desire to see posts in chronological order, a feature that was missing from the original app. Go through the people you follow if you want to make your Following feed the most important feed on the app. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to just see images shared with a select group of people, you can save them to your Favorites. To move between your Following and Favorites feeds, select the Instagram logo in the upper left corner of the app.