Last month Instagram started testing out an algorithm-based feed that is personalized based on past interactions. Instagram seems to be following in the footsteps of its parent company, Facebook, by engaging people through news feed. The users you interact most with on Instagram will now get their images pushed higher up on your Instagram feed, so you will not miss those special moments because you’re more likely to care about them according to the algorithm.
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and chief executive of Instagram, said in an interview with The New York Times. Kevin pleads his case further saying, “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”
Most Instagram users seem to favor the instant real time photo sharing they have been used to. Currently Instagram has a reverse chronological feed that makes it easy for users to see every image their friends post. Many people are worried that this algorithm will cause Instagram users to miss a high percentage of their friends’ photos. Instagram promises to take their time, get it right and listen to their user audience and fully test before rolling out. With Facebook’s failure in that arena, however, people are not very optimistic.
Change.org is circulating a petition that stands up for small businesses who use Instagram to promote to their followers and could see a drastic drop in sales due to this new change. In the meanwhile many Instagram users are promoting a workaround for the algorithm: turn on push notifications. Instagram and Twitter users are heavily posting the hashtag #turnmeon, informing their followers that if they turn on push notifications they will receive an alert every time the person posts an update to the site. That will help, but I don’t see it as being the end-all solution. What are your thoughts? It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.