If you awoke this morning to a barrage of "Turn on notifications OR ELSE!" posts in your Instagram feed and wondered if the Instapocalypse was upon us, don't fret. It's nothing that serious. Rather, users are just freaking out over the fact that Instagram is reportedly rolling out a new algorithm for displaying photos. Basically, Instagram will show you the photos it thinks you want to see, as opposed to the chronological order everyone is accustomed to. Judging by the widespread panic this morning, you might think this change is happening RIGHT THIS SECOND OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. But, I've got some good news, and perhaps some not-so-good news, depending on your druthers. Update: On June 2, Instagram announced in a blog post that the Instagram feed change will be rolling out across the entire platform over the course of the month.
Here's the not-so-good news, if you're one of the people vehemently opposed to this update: Yes, the Instagram algorithm really is changing. A spokesperson for Instagram explains to Bustle via email: "Your feed will soon order posts so that you'll see the moments we believe you care about first. As we begin, we're focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order ... The ordered feed will take into account a number of signals such as likes, comments, and searches, as well as the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, the timeliness of the posts, and your relationship to the person posting."
Deep breaths, you guys. Deep breaths.This shouldn't come as a complete surprise, considering Instagram announced the change to the community earlier this month. And to be honest, the logic behind the update kind of makes sense. They cited the fact that, on average, people miss 70 percent of their feeds. So unless you are on Insta all the time or are willing to invest the time it takes to scroll back through the hours of posts you missed since your last login, you're obviously going to miss some of the posts you'd likely find pretty interesting.
Are you ready for the good news now? This isn't happening immediately or all at once. So no, you don't actually have to worry about turning on notifications right this very second, as all those frantic posts this morning would have you believe. "This will be a gradual rollout — we'll have more to share before we launch it more broadly ... we will do extensive testing within the community to make sure we get this right, and some details will be determined during this testing period," elaborates the spokesperson. If you happen to follow IG fashion guru Evan Chen, you've probably already figured as much out by now. In response to a query from a follower about the change, Chen responded, "Thanks for asking! No sigh it's not true. Look at your feed today. Is it still chronological? Yep it is."
All of this to say that you shouldn't sound the alarms just yet. Even when Instagram does institute the changes to its algorithm, you can apparently circumvent the update by choosing to turn on notifications for individual Instas. This isn't too terribly dissimilar from the recent update to Twitter's feed algorithm. Sure, the change is happening whether you want it to or not, but you will be able to opt out pretty easily. Feel better now?
Wanna know what it's really like to be a woman on the internet? Listen to Bustle's podcast The Chat Room right here:
Images: Giphy (2)