This week, millions of Instagram users woke up to a frenzy of how Instagram is changing its newsfeed. Since its inception, the photo-sharing app has been showing user’s followers’ images in chronological order. But apparently, there is to be a shift in that. The company is set to use an algorithm to predict which photos its users are mostly to like on those photos would appear higher in their feeds.
This is an almost similar scenario with the new Facebook feed that lets you select certain people or accounts that you want to see at the top of your news feed.
Since the news, Instagrammers took the internet by storm showing their dislike for the change that hasn’t even happened. Most of them went as far as to ask their followers to ‘Turn on Notifications’: a feature that is visible at the right hand corner of one’s profile that is indicated by three dots, in order to not miss any updates from them.
Getting people to turn on notifications will probably mean that their posts are more likely to appear in the new feed. Since the feature will presumably look for posts with high engagement, those that are opened and interacted with quickly – because of the high number of notifications – will most likely get more privileged by the new feed’s algorithm.
The Facebook owned app since 2012, hasn’t yet given an official announcement as to when the change would happen, though users are already in a state of panic as to how their timelines would soon look like.
“The order of photos and videos on your feed 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,” Instagram wrote in its announcement post. “As we begin, were focusing on optimizing the order – all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
The accounts most worried however are small business that rely on Instagram for their income. Most individuals and brands are worried that their content won’t be as viewed with the new feed; which is true to some extent considering the feed directly references your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. This makes it hard for brand advertisement to meet this criteria. This is not meant to silence businesses but to help the brands reach their customers who are passionate about their products and services, and actually like, comment on and share those photographs,
Some of the new changes that the app has seen:
- Longer videos on Instagram: the video length at the moment is around 15 seconds. In a blog statement by the company, they have plans to roll out video watching up to 60 seconds. “In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent. And longer videos mean more diverse stories from the accounts you love.”
- They have since added an Explore button on their web app. The feature allows users to search for people, locations or hashtags. It is almost as similar to the feature on the mobile app.
- They have also added a Notification button on the web application.
- One can still not upload a photo via web, but judging with the current state of affairs, it might just be added in the future.
As much as the new feed that may take weeks or even months to get initiated, people have to start getting used to the change as early as now. You might not see a user’s posts as you want to, but it’s worse if you get to miss them entirely, even if it’s out of order.