(NEW YORK) — Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri doubled down on recent changes to the app Tuesday, despite backlash from scores of users, including Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian – two of Instagram’s most prominent users.
In a video posted to social media Tuesday morning, Mosseri said the company is “experimenting with a lot of different changes to the app, and so we’re hearing a lot of complaints from all of you.”
On Monday, Jenner, who has 361 million Instagram followers, and Kardashian, with 326 million Instagram followers, shared a post from photographer “@Illumitati” urging the platform to stop “trying to be tiktok,” and to “Make Instagram Instagram Again.”
“History shows that when a Kardashian or a Jenner talks about your platform, you should probably listen,” Jack Appleby, author of Morning Brew’s “Future Social” newsletter, told ABC Audio.
The complaints come as the company – launched in 2010 as primarily a photo-sharing app – continues to push new types of posts to the app’s main feed, including Reels videos from recommended creators. Reels, introduced in 2020, mimics TikTok’s app, presenting users with a vertical scrolling feed of videos. Appleby said Reels are often from accounts recommended by Instagram – not from accounts users themselves follow – and this changes the app’s “value proposition.”
“It was a friend-to-friend network. Now it is a – I am seeing content from people I did not elect to follow, and that effects how users view the platform,” he said.
Instagram may have good reason to worry about what the stars of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” have to say. In 2018, Kylie Jenner tweeted that she was no longer using Snapchat — sending shares of the app plunging 7% and erasing over $1 billion of value, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Instagram’s parent company, Meta, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, is set to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday after the closing bell.
Despite the backlash, Mosseri said his company remains committed to video content.
“I got to be honest, I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time,” Mosseri said in the video.
“If you look at what people share on Instagram, that’s shifting more and more to video over time. If you look at what people like and consume and view on Instagram, that’s also shifting more and more to video over time – even when we stop changing anything. So we’re going to have to lean into that shift.”
“The reality is that Instagram is going to be able to make more money based on more video content than static or photo content,” said Appleby. “It’s really that simple.”
Whether that explanation will be enough to change Instagrammers’ feelings about the new features remains to be seen.
“I just want to see cute pictures of my friends,” the original post shared by Jenner and Kardashian goes on to read. “Sincerely, everyone.”
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