Instagram admits they pushed the ranking for Reels too far last year, as they put a renewed focus on what made Instagram so popular – photos.
During a weekly Q&A, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri reponded to a question about photographers losing faith in the platform. The video response was posted to Instagram Stories, so has now expired. The transcription below comes from The Verge.
We definitely have a number of photographers who have been upset. I want to be clear: though we are leaning into video, we still value photos. Photos will always be a part of Instagram.
I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos. We’ve since balanced, so things like how often someone likes photos versus videos and how often someone comments on photos versus videos are roughly equal, which is a good sign that things are balanced. And so, to the degree that there is more video on Instagram over time, it’s going to be because that’s what’s driving overall engagement more.
But photos are always going to be an important part of what we do. And there are always going to be people who love and are interested in finding photos on Instagram and elsewhere. And I want to make sure that we’re very clear about that.Adam Mosseri in a Q&A
This algorithmic shift comes after Instagram pushed videos during 2022, with all videos becoming Reels in July. At the same time, Instagram tested a major TikTok-like redesign of the app and faced backlash, causing Instagram to roll back changes.