Instagram Will Return to Original Format After Crush of Kardashian Criticism: ‘Glad We Took a Risk’

CEO Adam Mosseri said failure will come when thinking “big” and “bold”

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Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced Thursday that the company will return to its original format and walk back a highly criticized test that shifted the app to video content.

“I’m glad we took a risk — if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough,” Mosseri said in an interview with Platformer, “But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup.”

Mosseri’s statement marks a set back in the app’s shift to video, which after he claimed Tuesday that “more and more of Instagram is gonna become video over time.”

According to Mosseri, the test version, which introduced a full-screen feed to a small percentage of users, will be phased on in the coming weeks and the app will reduce the number of recommended posts.

The app’s head also addressed criticism regarding changes to the app after Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian both posted Instagram Stories saying, “Make Instagram Instagram Again” Monday.

“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.”

The rollback comes just days after Mosseri defended the app’s new format as “a more fun and engaging experience” that would support both photos and videos.

“If you look at what people share on Instagram, that’s shifting more and more to videos over time,” Mosseri said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday, “If you look at what people like and consume and view on Instagram, that’s also shifting more and more to video over time.”

As for next steps, Mosseri noted that the company “need[s] to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feed that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations,” and then start to grow again.