A picture’s worth a thousand words, but if you’re Instagram and you start tinkering with your algorithm you can expect many, many more than that.
As one of Facebook’s biggest—and most popular—online assets, Instagram has naturally become a bit more like Facebook. If you’ve checked your feed in the last few months you’ve noticed an influx of native advertising sprinkled throughout photos of those you follow. While mildly annoying, the photo-centric social media platform hasn’t received near as much backlash as a result of ads as it has surrounding its latest “Facebookification.”
Instagram has announced that it will begin to implement a new algorithm that adjusts the way in which photos are organized on your feed. Much like Facebook, pictures with a higher level of engagement will appear first, as opposed to the existing interface of chronological order.
Users are flooding Instagram with a litany of “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” style emails, and many—particularly celebrities—are posting images of their own, urging followers to turn on notifications so they don’t miss updates.
If you thought ads were annoying, envision the prospect of push notifications every time Justin Bieber posted on Instagram. Then throw your iPhone out the window.
It does beg the question, though: why? Clicking “most recent” on a Facebook newsfeed has always seemed unnecessary, so with Instagram’s interface that is supposed to paint a vivid, photographic timeline, an algorithm that takes them out of order seems odd and clunky.
Regardless of the massive roll-out backlash, as one of the world’s most popular social media apps, Instagram won’t be going away any time soon.