Instagram users will soon have to brace themselves for a big change in their feeds, with the app deciding to opt for algorithm-based ordering instead of the simple chronological one it’s been using so far. If this sounds familiar, it’s because parent company Facebook and even Twitter have adopted this method.
It seems inevitable that Instagram would be compelled to follow the lead of its owner. In a blog post, the brand claims users miss over 70% of their feeds on average. Casual consumers could probably keep up with posts if they followed a limited number of accounts, but heavy-duty ones would inevitably miss a post here or there especially given the rate by which the app has grown.
Instagram is offering up this algorithm-based feed as a solution to the problem. Its basic aim is to structure photos and videos according to how much a person might care about it. Figuring this out is a complex task. The firm is looking to take various factors into consideration such as the probability of a user’s interest in a post, their relationship with the poster, and the time it was posted.
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For instance, if an Instagrammers favorite musician shares a video from a concert, it’ll show up towards the top of their feed instead of getting buried underneath an avalanche of posts. Same goes for posts made by their closest friends. The firm hasn’t clarified whether there’s a way to opt out of this new arrangement of posts, so it looks like everyone will be forced to get used to it.
There’s no escaping the fact that Instagram is looking to go the Facebook way of controlling the way people see content. While the two maintain that its focus is on user experience, an algorithm-based formula also makes it easier for advertisers to tailor ads to consumers.
The backlash against Instagram has already begun, with many users protesting the change. Some say it’ll destroy small businesses and others say it’ll ruin their feed the way it ruined Facebook. The company for its part claims that it’s going to listen to feedback and roll out the new system within the next few months.