Wednesday 21 February 2018

Confusion abounds about Instagram's feed change - and people are mad


Daniel Anderson

Instagram is about to make a major change to your feed, and it's proving extremely unpopular.

Confusion abounded about the date for the change, with many believing a major overhaul was due today.

The social sharing site is planning changes that means software will decide what posts you'll see based on your interests, how popular the photo is and when it was put live, in a similar way to Facebook's 'top posts' option.

However, a spokesperson for Instagram told The FADER on email that there's no need to panic, just yet.

"There's still a lot of testing to be done on the algorithm changes," the company said.

Instagram explained: “This is not being implemented tomorrow—we still have weeks, or even months, of testing to go. Currently the test groups are very small. When we roll it out broadly, we will definitely let the community know."

The social sharing site, which is owned by Facebook, has announced they're rolling out an 'algorithmic' approach to your feed.

It sounds like a way to streamline your feed into what you really want to see but takes the element of choice out of the hands of users and also has the potential to be used by the company to serve promoted content and hide posts by users with less followers. Really, it takes away the freedom of choice which is a big part of Instagram, letting you see a picture of your friends gorgeous looking dinner next to the latest major annoucement from folks of a more famous nature.

The backlash has been loud and negative, with users creating an online petition which thousands of supporters. Popular users have also been speaking out but in a different way, urging their fans to turn on notifications to ensure their posts don't get lost. This might sound like a good idea but the result will be a noise and vibration from your phone every time that person posts a photo or video, which could end up being overwhelming.

The confusion came despite earlier protests from Instagram when it was quick to mention that these changes haven't started yet and everyone will be informed when their feed is changing.

— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016

The change is still coming though and unfortunately there really isn't anything you can do about it, unless you want to give up on Instagram entirely. Curated news feeds are just a part of our internet lives now and the result is that it might become harder than ever to connect online with your real life friends, unless Instagram decides their photos are worthy of your time.



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