You probably noticed that your Instagram has been a little strange lately.
You are not seeing as many posts from your friends, and you are being bombarded with lots of posts from people you are not following and loads more Reels (Instagram's answer to TikTok's short video format).
It's no secret that Instagram is trying to mimic TikTok and recently, it was reported that the company would be testing a full-screen home feed. This meant that users would open Instagram and see full-screen videos and photos – just like TikTok.
The above-mentioned changes and news of this new home feed made users very unhappy.
And initially, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, was adamant that this was going to be the future of Instagram and said that while Instagram would "continue to support photos," the service would pivot to videos.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta who owns Instagram, also said that both Facebook and Instagram would continue to show more "recommended" posts over the next two years.
This eventually led to the creation of the "Make Instagram Instagram again" meme, led mostly by Kylie Jenner and her sister Kim Kardashian, which went viral.
Faced with mounting criticism and displeasure by many of its biggest users, Instagram has no choice but to announce that it will be walking back on these changes.
To start, the full-screen home feed will be phased out and Instagram will reduce the number of recommended posts in users' feeds as they continue to refine its algorithms.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said: "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.
"But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we’ve learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration. So we’re going to work through that."
That doesn't mean changes to Instagram won't come someday.
Though Instagram is walking back on the changes now, Mosseri also said that the company would work to improve the way its recommendation algorithms work, so it could be a matter of time before we start seeing more "recommended" posts again.
Mosseri said: "When you discover something in your field that you didn’t follow before, there should be a high bar — it should just be great. You should be delighted to see it. And I don’t think that’s happening enough right now.
"So I think we need to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feed that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations, and then — if and when we do — we can start to grow again."
To be fair, Instagram is in a pickle. Once the darling of social media, the company is now facing tremendous pressure from TikTok. TikTok is now the most downloaded app in the world and its website is the most visited.
And while I applaud the company's speed and willingness to try something new, it really needs to figure out its direction and what it's good at or risk alienating its users.
Ultimately, the question it needs to ask itself is: Does it want to continue being Instagram and be different, or does it want to be some lame TikTok clone?
This article was first published in Hardware Zone.