You’re not alone if you think Instagram’s TikTok-like test feed is undercooked, but don’t expect it to go away completely. As CNBC notes, social network head Adam Mosseri has posted a Twitter clip acknowledging that the video-focused trial feed is “not yet good,” and would need to be improved before it reached all Instagram users. However, he maintained that Instagram would invariably become more video-centric over time as that’s the content people were sharing. Get used to seeing more clips, in other words.
Mosseri also defended the rise of recommended posts in users’ feeds. He contended they were the “most effective and important” ways for creators to grow their audiences. Users could pause all recommendations for a month if they weren’t interested, he said.
The Twitter post is effectively Instagram’s response to a mounting backlash against the video feed and recommendation efforts. High-profile users like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian recently blasted Instagram for “trying to be TikTok,” while posts and petitions have increasingly called on the social media site to “make Instagram Instagram again” by returning its attention to photos.
While Mosseri asked for feedback, there’s no guarantee Instagram will change course. Meta has a long history of duplicating features from social networks that pose a competitive threat, including TikTok and Snapchat. The test feed and recommendations are clearly meant to keep Instagram users from drifting toward TikTok, and Meta is trying a similarly overt strategy with Facebook. So long as Meta is worried that rivals might take its user base, it’s unlikely to completely scrap features like these.