By Sarah Magliocco
Instagram has announced that it is developing an algorithm that will choose the content that its users see on their feed.
The photo and video sharing app is testing an algorithm-based personalized feed for users, which means that, like Facebook, your Instagram feed will no longer be in chronological order. Instead, posts will be listed in order of popularity and relevance to the user.
“If your favourite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it,” said Instagram.
However most users are not happy about Instagram’s the change.
— Sara Rash (@saralrash) March 18, 2016
Aidan Judge, blogger and communications expert said: “I feel that as Instagram has changed and evolved, it does make sense to change to an algorithm from a business point. I, however, am not a fan of this, I feel like it’s just a move to filter feeds and host more ads like Facebook does”. “I do not want to see content from the next it brand or it person that can afford to keep their engagement high from sponsored Instagram posts. Plus, I have discovered so many amazing artists and brands on Instagram randomly as they have the chronological feed. If they change to the algorithm this will mean people will always see the same genre of posts all the time”.
I dislike all social media being turned into a popularity contest. Instagram’s new algorithm based timeline will do just that 👎🏼
— Calum McSwiggan (@CalumMcSwiggan) March 16, 2016
The new algorithm is being seen to smother small businesses, and offer an advantage to larger corporations and celebrities who are already popular and have a large number of followers. “Brands with lower budgets and fewer engagements on their content will be squeezed out over time,” said Noah Mallin, head of social at MEC North America to digiday.com.
— Myra Caballero (@MyraCaballero) March 16, 2016
Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and the similarities of this new algorithm to Facebooks has not gone unnoticed. What you see on Facebook has been determined by automated software that tracks each user’s actions to show them the posts they’re most likely to engage with and like, along with premium publishers’ content getting preferential treatment. This helped the social network to accumulate $17,928 million in revenue last year.
“I hate that, it will be too similar to Facebook and on Facebook I always change my settings to most recent rather than most relevant. It might be ok if Instagram also has an option under the settings menu where you can turn that option on or off” said avid Instagram user Aoibheann Diver.
However not all the responses to Instagram’s new algorithm has been negative, with large corporations such as Buzzfeed commenting in support of the algorithm.
“Instagram’s transition to an algorithmic feed was inevitable. You end up missing a lot of important content, and your content isn’t seen by the people you’re posting it for. This is going to make Instagram great again,” said Jason Stein, CEO of Laundry Service.