06 Apr Instagram to be not so ‘insta’ – changes to your Instagram newsfeed
Instagram has sparked negative comments in its community in the last few weeks after it announced that it will be changing the way its newsfeed is structured. Similar to Facebook before them, Instagram will now change to an algorithm formulated timeline so that posts will be sorted by user interests rather than feature images in the chronological format that it currently uses. It doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, many people are concerned and here’s why.
Instagram is known for being an instant photo posting service where users can share their images in a chronological feed. Users can flick through their news feeds and ‘like’ or comment on a picture as they wish. However, there are concerns that as these algorithm changes are brought in, more popular users (insert Kardashians here) and business sponsored posts will have more of an advantage in newfeeds and less followed users could see their content being ignored and face the ‘horror’ of getting fewer likes from their followers.
Turn me on…
Celebrities including Kylie Jenner are encouraging users to ‘turn on notifications’ (even if they don’t necessarily agree with the changes) so that followers don’t miss a post on this new system. We’ve also seen bloggers and more popular Instagram accounts promoting this. However, this means that every time this user posts an image, you will get a notification. And, if you’ve turned on a notification for someone who posts multiple times a day, this is sure to get annoying really quick, right? We already get enough notifications from the other hundred apps on our phone so this isn’t something that most will be rushing to use. Some users have said that they really don’t see the benefit of being alerted whenever someone they follow posts an image – they’d rather just scroll through and be surprised by what they see.
As with Facebook, posts that will now appear higher in your newsfeed will be determined based on your relationship to the person posting, whether you have previously liked their content and whether it is related to content you would usually share and like. Basically, content will appear which users are more likely to ‘like’. Instagram has stated that this change comes due to many users missing out on 70% of content in their newsfeeds, so what they do actually see should be relevant and interesting to them.
Slow roll out
Many users have taken to social media to voice their frustrations at the prospect of these changes. This has caused Instagram to respond to comments stating, “We are listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.” From this tweet we can see that these changes are not due right now, as some people may think, so we can all be calmer for a little longer.
Yet, whether this will actually harm the social network site will be something that will only be determined with time. But realistically, when Facebook introduced algorithm newsfeeds, it didn’t make much of a difference to its user base, despite a few unhappy grumbles along the way. Many digital leaders believe the same will be said for our favourite photo social network but that will be seen in time. Instagram will be rolling out changes within the next few months so we’ve got a bit more time with the Instagram that we know and love. What do you think of these proposed changes?