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.
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…