the archives

Instagram changes

03.17.16

what will Instagram’s new algorithm mean…?

One of the hot topics of the week is Instagram’s plan to change the way in which we see photo’s in our feed. These Instagram changes mean removing the chronological format and as such will apparently ‘share the posts we care about first’ just as their parent company and owner Facebook does.

instagram changes | humphrey & grace

How they determine what we care about is a little bit of calculated technology and whether it will be accurate remains to be seen because I don’t know about you, but I follow such a variety of Instagram accounts for all kinds of reasons, who is to say which I care about more other than me…?

I don’t know how you found out but it seems to me they tried to keep these Instagram changes a little quiet, I saw it on Twitter after a friend pointed me in it’s direction!! I have my suspicions that they know we aren’t going to be keen. In fact I am not sure I’ve seen a single comment that says ‘hooray, I think it’s a great idea’ yet, have you…?

So, that aside, what can we do about this? Let’s keep this is perspective, possibly not a huge amount as I suspect this is a theory Instagram will want to try out whatever we say. There is a petition to keep Instagram chronological which is growing in signatures incredibly quickly, and then the #keepinstagramchronological gallery is filling up too. I would suggest it is worth registering your disapproval in one of those ways if you want to make your point. Or tweet it. Or blog it (I’m covering all these bases myself!!).

So what will this change mean? Your feed will be jumbled up no doubt and the posting time will no longer be relevant at all. If you follow more accounts than you manage to scroll through currently you will most likely notice a difference to whose posts you see. Whether this will be in a good or bad way remains to be seen. I assume their algorithm bases itself on who you engage with most often and who you have selected to have post notifications from first with a sliding scale to those you engage least with. Playing the devils advocate here, perhaps this may not be as evil as it sounds? Perhaps we will see the things that we are most likely to like anyway…?

On the flip side of that, if you currently manage to keep up with scrolling your feed then it shouldn’t make too much difference to you. Think about it, they may be in a random order but the posts will all be there, Instagram are not saying they will remove accounts from your feed. So if we just ignore the order they appear in then what’s the difference…?

The simple difference is that those of us who post at a regular time of day, and I mean me as much as anyone here, may see a change in our engagement levels. I have learned that 6.30 – 7am is my most engaged time to post. I have no idea how this will effect my interaction with followers or number of likes at all so in essence this is the thing that bothers me the most. That tiny bit of influence I have over follower interaction will be removed. I will be watching with interest.

I am not going to go into the scary Big Brother feeling that these algorithms remind me of because actually if you only dwell on the negative it is even more likely that we will disengage. Instead I suggest you sign the petition and use the hashtag mentioned above to show your love for the chronological scroll, hope that Instagram listen to us and then get on with creating the best and most engaging content you can because frankly that is your only way to stand out now. Be your best self and share your best photography. If you want to be sure you stay up to date with certain people turn on post notifications so you know when they share a photo.

Life’s to short to stress about stuff like this, change is inevitable, embrace it if at all possible (but make your point if needs be too). Maybe they will give us a option for how we want to view our feed? Maybe the dreaded advertising won’t be too different to how it is now, who knows, that’s another subject for another day. Lets just remember that it is not actually in Instagram’s best interest to upset it’s millions of users so much that we all up and leave, let’s hope that the changes are not such a massive deal when they happen…

Julia x

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12 comments on “Instagram changes”

  1. All great points, Julia, and think hoping for the best – while making a bit of a protest – is the best way forward. I love the chronological feed, especially that feeling of getting a little glimpse into people’s daily life. I love saying good morning to friends in the UK as I’m turning out the lights in Sydney. However, I miss a lot because I’m asleep when most of the action is happening in the UK. Oh well, will see how it all pans out!

    1. Thanks Bex! I agree entirely, the chronological feed is one of the best things and I’ll be sorry to see it go. That said I’m really hoping it isn’t as awful as it sounds and that we all get used to it quickly enough. I do wonder why on earth they feel the need to change it…

  2. Such a brilliant post J!! And agree with Hannah’s comment above too – this definitely troubles me!! I have too many ghost followers as it is :( xx

    1. Thanks Jules! I think only time will tell just how it changes things but I’m none too impressed with the latest – albeit subtle – move towards Facebook standards…

  3. I am not a big fan of this new system either, I don’t follow a lot of people, 170 accounts and each of them is important to me, as equal, so how Instagram is going to decide what I will be more interested to see then? I will be so frustrated to know that they will be many pictures that I will probably not see because I can’t go to all the accounts I am following one by one! But anyway, let’s wait and see!

    1. It’s an interesting one isn’t it Alex? I follow 180 and scroll usually twice a day which means I see everything posted, I assume it will simply be in the wrong order but all there. But the interesting thing will be to see how they prioritise posts and if you haven’t had chance to scroll then whose posts will you miss. I agree that it is not up to them to decide what we want to see! Time will tell…

  4. This is a great post. I somehow manage to get through all of my posts without missing too much, so I don’t think this change will affect me too much. Although, I do prefer my stuff to be chronological, so I did sign the petition and I hope they keep it the same! :)

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  5. Great post Julia and lots of good points made. One thing that has occurred to me is if we post a really popular picture will that mean staying at the top of people’s feeds for a while? Equally if we post a doozy will we have to claw our way back up? That’s one thing that really troubles me is the possible cumulative effect, that if someone hadn’t engaged with your feed for a week, they may then stop seeing it. Which may result in yet more ghost followers. Like you say, only time will tell!

    1. Thanks Hannah, that is what I’m not sure about either?! It really could go either way and possibly even a mixture of both in which case would we even see a real difference…? Only time will tell and there is just no point worrying about it because we have no control do we xx

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