In a move straight out of Facebook's manual, Instagram is going to change the order in which your friends' pictures appear, so that the pictures and videos Insta thinks you'll like most will appear at the top. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that if Instagram knows you love foodie pics, it's going to take a picture of cupcakes that was posted five hours ago and bump it to the top of your newsfeed, even ahead of things more recently posted. Basically, it's an algorithm-based system, rather than a chronolgical one; Instagram will apparently be implementing the update over the next few months.
The app is making the change to provide a solution to a kinda-sorta-not-really shocking problem: We miss 70 percent of what's in our newsfeeds. But while I can understand the reasoning behind it, it actually still makes part of me a little sad. I've always loved Instagram because it's straightforward, fairly transparent, and doesn't try to have a ton of bells and whistles, like Facebook does. (Not that bells and whistles are a bad thing. I just think it's nice to have Facebook, and then something completely different.) This move towards an algorithm-based system makes the guts of how the whole thing works a little less straightforward for us laypeople.
But at least Instagram promises that they'll listen to our feedback as they roll out this update. Your interest in a photo won't be the only determining factor; the time it was posted will still have some influence, along with your relationship with the person who posted it. Indeed, social media in general is constantly evolving to offer us a more personalized, catered experience, so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised by this. Facebook's algorithm changes and advances to show us what we want to see (and eliminate what we dislike) in our newsfeeds; Twitter implemented a similar approach. It only makes sense that Instagram would eventually follow suit.
And if it means that the pictures of my dog will get more likes, I'm totally on board.
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