Instagram to implement 'most popular posts first' in your feed
This can't end well.
"See the moments you care about first"
That's the lead sentence of a statement released today by Instagram regarding a new update coming soon for the App. Essentially explaining that rather than seeing posts in chronological order like you do now, the feed will start serving you "top stories" first, similar to Facebook's News Feed post-ranking style.
"To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most. The order of photos and videos in 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. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order."
One of the last remaining joys of Instagram is that you had complete control of your feed. Sure Instagram ads exist now, but still, by and large you control what you see in your feed by selecting who to follow. But now Instagram, with their new algorithm, will be able to decide what you want to see and show it to you first. It's justified by their claim that people "miss on average 70 percent of their feeds".
We all know how well the algorithm model has turned out for Facebook because of how much you love all the memes and sponsored content that gets thrust into your feed above everything else. Surely this new Instagram update will end up the same?
Instagram assures us they're "going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way." A sentence which is followed by, "you’ll see this new experience in the coming months."
Which sounds like that's not really the case. Because we can't imagine anyone (outside of advertisers and brands) is in favour of this. It was the last remaining reason to stay on Instagram.
If this update goes ahead, will it be the last straw for sticking with the medium?
In the words of Oyster Mag - RIP Instagram.