On March 15 Instagram announced it’s changing the way its feed displays posts. Rather than using chronological order, the company will now use an algorithm to order posts in a manner that “[it] believes you will care about the most.”
In the last week or so everyone noticed the change and freaked out.
Some Instagram users claim that following in the algorithmic footsteps of Twitter and Facebook will spell doom for smaller accounts without many followers. Even users with huge followings said they were worried, urging their fans to “turn on post notifications” in order to prevent their images from getting lost in the shuffle.
Ugh Instagram if it’s not broke don’t fix it! Instagram is changing out of chronological order 😔 so let’s say you love someone’s photos but don’t physically "like" their pics they will bump them to the bottom. It’s called INSTAgram for a reason. I don’t really understand it and there has to be another motive because you follow people for a reason.. I’m trying to see everyone’s pics. That’s why you created the unfollow button if u don’t want to see their photos. I hate this new update @instagram is slowly trying to introduce & yes it’s true they warned us all a few weeks ago.
But is all the fuss warranted?
Instagram has not even rolled out the changes yet, so we don’t know yet if this is going to ruin everyone’s Instagram fun.
We’re listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016
We do know this: Even with the algorithm, every post will still be available on your timeline, so if you’re willing to scroll, you won’t miss anything. The only thing that may change is the order, says Instagram.
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and chief executive of Instagram, told the New York Times. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”
As for the calls to preemptively turn on post notifications for all the accounts you follow, that sounds like a neat solution, but, depending on how many accounts you follow, you might get a lot of notifications.
Despite Instagram’s insistence that the changes are for the better, there are bound to be some users who will still bristle at the thought of an algorithm tampering with their news feed. An easy way to deal with this would be to allow users the option to opt out of the new format in favor of a chronological order. While Instagram claims to be “listening,” how the company chooses to acknowledge such options remains to be seen.