Instagram has just released some very interesting news for its users, news that is sure to spark some reactions and controversy. If you’re a hardcore Instagram user, you might want to sit down for this one.
According to a recent news release, the Facebook-owned photo and video platform might soon be messing up your news feed big time. Post popularity and other social signals might become more important factors than chronological order when it comes to the posts you see first.
In other words, your Instagram is about to be curated similar to how Facebook’s News Feed works. The New York Times was the first to report the move, explaining that Instagram’s feed will be integrated with a new algorithm.
After Twitter started experimenting with a new timeline last month, Instagram had become one of the few social networks that still showed content in a chronological system.
The almost 400 million users saw a reflection of the now when they logged in on Instagram – except sponsored posts, which come up in your feed based on various cues.
According to The Times, Instagram is about to meddle with that system, using algorithms to determine what you’d like to see when you open the app. Among the new factors are your recent interaction with a user, the popularity of a certain photo, and the time of day.
Instagram co-founder CEO Kevin Systrom said in The Times that the average user misses about 70 percent of the posts in their feeds, which means the 30 percent they do see needs to be “the best 30 percent possible.”
Even though the concept makes sense, we can imagine why some users will disagree with having less control over what they see first on Instagram. Back in 2009, Facebook faced serious backlash when it introduced the algorithmic take on the News Feed.
Similarly, Twitter’s more recent attempts to switch-up its Timeline were met by disgruntled users. While the 140-character network is still trying to win over their followers, Facebook users eventually accepted the new reality.
Mike Krieger, Instagram’s other co-founder and CTO, told The Times that users should not panic about the change; it might not be as big of a deal to users, he said, because they often follow people from all over the world.
Change is coming, but it’s coming in a slow and calculated way; the rollout will go through proper testing that will perfect the experience before it becomes global. While this approach is probably wiser, there’s no telling what Instagrammers will have to say about the move.
Image Source: WERSM