Technology

Instagram pauses transformation to TikTok

The platform will, among other things, reduce the amount of content “recommended” to users by its algorithm, at least temporarily. (Photo: 123RF)

SAN FRANCISCO — Instagram will pause configuration changes that mimicked its young rival TikTok after a user campaign against new features.

In an interview with the newsletter on Thursday, Adam Mosseri, the owner of the app, indicated that Instagram was going to stop the test, which displayed photos and videos in full screen – like TikTok.

The platform will also reduce the amount of content “recommended” to users by its algorithm, at least temporarily.

“I’m glad we took the risk – if we don’t fail from time to time, it’s because we’re not brave enough,” Adam Mosseri told the Platformer trading newsletter.

The photo and video app, owned by social media giant Meta (Facebook), came under fire this week when celebs Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner urged it to “get back to Instagram” and “stop trying to… be TikTok.” ‘, the message was widely applauded and shared by users.

Meta, like Google on YouTube, has already copied TikTok’s fun short video format with “Reels” and “Shorts” respectively.

In late January, the California group realized that some competing platforms were hurting its growth, especially among younger audiences.

“People have a lot of choices about how they want to spend their time. And apps like TikTok are growing very fast,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta.

Unlike traditional social networks, TikTok does not highlight user contacts. Its success has a lot to do with its algorithm, which selects videos from creators based on people’s tastes.

Mark Zuckerberg confirmed this orientation on Wednesday. He said that about 15% of the content viewed by Facebook and Instagram users currently comes from algorithm recommendations.

“These figures should at least double by the end of the year,” he said.

But the company, which did not immediately respond to AFP’s request, appears to have finally decided to move more slowly.

“We need to take a step back. […] and come back with a new formula,” said Adam Mosseri on Thursday.

“All these fears will subside,” Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, said Wednesday of the user uprising. “But it shows that Instagram must succeed in its growth, at the risk of losing some of its biggest followers.”

“Facebook’s user base in the US is barely growing, and while Instagram is helping move things forward, we’re starting to see a slowdown in growth among teens and young adults,” she said.

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