There was some pretty big news from Instagram this week. They announced that they would soon begin to filter the images in your feed based on an algorithm. Yes, images will no longer be presented in the chronological order that they are posted. Instead, we will see the images that the Instagram algorithm selects for us in the order that the Instagram algorithm thinks is best. So what’s the problem with that? That mean the new Instagram feed update is now shielding us from new experiences and perspectives.
This idea on the surface may seem like a good idea or may have been prompted with the best of intentions. Instagram quoted the following on their blog:
You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.
Instagram says that the algorithm will determine the order of the photos and videos in your feed based on the likelihood that you will be interested in the content. That decision will be based on things like your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post, and probably also a function of the accounts and types of posts you most often favourite or comment on.
We may be angry at them, but the truth is that we should have seen it coming. Facebook has been using an algorithm for its feed for a while, and Twitter has recently talked about switching up the order of tweets with an algorithm.
The difficulty with the new Instagram feed update is that when our social media accounts are filled with everything that we want and like to see, we start to think that our entire life should be like that and we expect it to be. The algorithm isolates us from reality and that there are other views and opinions, as well as a false sense of validation in our views and opinions. Therefore, algorithms – we are not great fans!.
This also suggests that marketers will probably have to start paying to show up in user’s feeds just like we’ve had to do with Facebook. So not cool, Instagram.