Instagram Backtracks Shift To TikTok Style Videos Amid User Outrage But There's A Caveat

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One of the best bits of advice is to be comfortable in your own skin. That can be difficult in this day and age of social media and so-called influencers, but it remains a key to happiness. Its oddly fitting, then, that Instagram finds itself in a bit of an identity crisis of its own as it attempts to emulate Tiktok, the massively popular short-form video sharing service.

Anyone who uses Instagram (and a whole lot of people do) will have noticed a shift in focus to videos. It's part of a recent redesign an in ever-changing landscape, but it hasn't gone over well with Instagram users. Many have voiced their complaints on Twitter, including celebrities and personalities that notable includes Kylie Jenner.

That reason that's notable is because as CNN reporter Frank Pallotta pointed out on Twitter, "The last time Kylie Jenner complained about a social media site, Snapchat lost $1.3B, so yeah Instagram has a problem." The outcry is much larger than one person, though, and Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri only made matters worse when doubling down on the changes earlier this week.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mosseri said Instagram will continue to support photos, saying it's part of the services heritage, but added, "I need to be honest - I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time. We see this even if we change nothing."

Fair enough, but the problem is that Instagram is force-feeding the change rather than allowing it to happen organically, if Mosseri's assumption is even correct. Instagram apparently feels it is important to "lean into that shift" despite the backlash. Or at least that was the case on Tuesday.

Since then, Mosseri issued a statement to The Verge saying Instagram will take a step back as it figures out how best to navigate its next moves.

"For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great," Mosseri said. "So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward."

Instagram is apparently now planning to cut back on how many posts and accounts it recommends while it works to retool its personalization tools. To what extent remains to be seen. The real caveat, though, is that this is only temporary. So while Instagram may pull back on emulating Tiktok's style, it could still make an even harder push down the line.