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Instagram pauses new features rollout following backlash

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Los Angeles: Instagram says it is pausing its rollout of new features on its app following backlash online from users and celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen.


Among the new features was an increase in video content being displayed to users and "recommendations" which were criticised for blocking posts from friends.


Earlier in the week Instagram boss Adam Mosseri posted several videos to Twitter explaining the changes and said he wanted to "continue supporting photos."


But on Thursday a spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Instagram, said the company wanted to "take the time" to get the changes right.


"Based on our findings and community feedback, we're pausing the full-screen test on Instagram so we can explore other options, and we're temporarily decreasing the number of recommendations you see in your feed so we can improve the quality of your experience," a Meta spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.


"We recognise that changes to the app can be an adjustment, and while we believe that Instagram needs to evolve as the world changes, we want to take the time to make sure we get this right."


In response to Mosseri's earlier Twitter video, US model Teigen said that users "don't wanna make videos" and are seeing lower engagement for photos.


Kardashian and Jenner also shared an online "petition" to "Make Instagram Instagram again" on their stories.


The slogan sprang from a change.org petition that had received more than 229,000 signatures as of late Thursday.


"Lets go back to our roots with Instagram and remember that the intention behind Instagram was to share photos, for Pete's sake," the petition read.


"I'm glad we took a risk," Mosseri was quoted as saying on Thursday in an interview with Platformer's Casey Newton.


"But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup."


"If we're not failing every once in a while, we're not thinking big enough or bold enough," Mosseri said.


Mosseri argued that the shift to more video would happen even if the service changed nothing, as users increasingly share and seek video snippets.


"If you look at what people share on Instagram, that is shifting more and more to video over time," Mosseri said.


"We are going to have to lean into that shift."


Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg backed that position during an earnings call on Wednesday, saying people are increasingly watching video online.


Both Meta and Google are among companies facing increased competition from TikTok for people's attention, and have launched their own versions of short-form video sharing. — Agencies


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