Instagram head Adam Mosseri took the unusual step to respond directly to the growing unhappiness of celebrity users such as Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian who have complained about new video-first features and have begun to campaign that the social media platform should “stop trying to be TikTok.”
Earlier this week influencer and photographer Tati Bruening, who uses the handle Illumitati, posted the message “Make Instagram Instagram again,” along with the words “Stop trying to be TikTok. I just want to see cute photos of my friends.” The post had nearly 2 million likes by Tuesday night and more significantly been reposted by the likes of Jenner and Kardashian, amongst the users with the largest following on the app, with 360 million and 326 million followers, respectively.
An accompanying petition set up by Bruening has already reached 180,000 signatures.
On Tuesday, Mosseri posted a video on Twitter to address the concerns and criticisms leveled at Instagram’s shifting strategy. “We’re going to continue to support photos. It’s part of our heritage,” Mosseri said directly referencing concerns the social media platform was moving away from its roots. “That said, 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.”
“We’re also going to need to evolve because the world is changing quickly and we’re going to have to change along with it,” Mosseri added.
In follow-up tweets, Mosseri addressed the criticism that Instagram was no longer prioritizing “friend content” in people’s personal feeds. “One thing I hear a lot is people asking to see more friend content in Feed. I’d love for there to be more friend content in feed, but all the growth in photos and videos from friends has been in stories and in DMs.”
He continued, “We will continue to show photos and videos from friends towards the top of Feed whenever we can, but the best way to keep up with friends seems to be with the other parts of Instagram.”
Mosseri’s rapid move to dispel worries amongst users such as Jenner and Kardashian comes as the exec seeks to avoid the fate that befell Snap Inc. in 2018 when Jenner tweeted that she had stopped using Snapchat. Snap Inc’s shares fell 6.1 percent after Jenner’s tweet, erasing a whopping $1.3 billion in market value in one day.