The time has finally come where Instagram’s user-base is so large that it needs to bid farewell to the chronological feed. Just like its cousin, Facebook.
This week Instagram announced that it will be changing the order of posts in users feeds to show users what they are most likely to be interested in, rather than all posts in reverse chronological order, which it has always done.
Why you ask? With people missing an average of 70% of posts in their feeds Instagram decided it was more important that their users see the content they want to see rather than the content posted at that time. You may be feeling a little perturbed, like your social freedom of choice has been taken away or like you have just had your favourite toy replaced with one all too similar to another. But really Instagram is doing us a solid. Instagram is trying to improve the user experience by making your feed show the moments we care about and want to engage with most.
How will Instagram determine this? The specifics of the algorithm ranking system have not quite been let out of the bag, but we do know it will be based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post”. This change will progress slowly at first “all the posts will still be there, just in a different order”, but eventually low quality posts may be filtered out entirely.
The changes mean that if a friend, who you normally engage with a lot, posts something brilliant in the middle of the night, you can rest assured knowing that you won’t miss it and it will be at the top of your feed in the morning. Above the posts from accounts that you may not usually engage with. So you will be at less risk of missing great content that you love to like, including those posts from international friends and businesses in different time zones that you love and normally miss.
On the other hand, this will make Instagram less of the “real-time” network that it has always prided itself on being, and it will make getting seen even more of a competition by making businesses work harder for users love. But in the end, if users are seeing more of what they like, they’re more likely to stick around and not head over to check out what’s happening on Google+ (#tumbleweeds).
So, will Instagram nail it and make our feeds like the social media unicorn of perfection, or will it lead us into all shades of spam? Instagram assures us they will be taking the time to get it right and be taking on feedback. So we’ll just have to wait and see!
What’s your take on this latest update for Instagram? Leave you comments below.
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