It is no secret that social media, specifically Instagram, has an unquestionable reach. Instagram is a social network app that permits users to share photos and videos with others. Since Instagram was founded in 2010, the app has attracted millions of users. However, Instagram user have not been pleased with the changes in the algorithm Instagram has made.
In 2018, Instagram’s algorithm sparked a great deal of confusion and frustration. Essentially, the algorithm has made it harder for people to see your posts. According to Recode, Instagram’s new algorithm switches the order of the posts on user’s feeds into what they think each account will like. This means that posts no longer show up in chronological order in someone’s feed.
“They only show popular posts instead of showing my friends’ posts, which makes me not want to [go on Instagram] as much,” Joshua Javier (’19) said.
This shift has caused Instagram posts to no longer receive the same amount of likes and attention they once had. With this new feed, Instagram claims people see 90 percent of posts from their “friends and family,” compared to around 50 percent with the non-chronological feed. With this new shift, companies and influencers are worried their post will no longer receive the same likes, comments, and reposts as it did before. Another concern is that users will consistently see the same posts from the same people, discluding some users that people follow.
“I think it’s annoying because it ranks people and doesn’t fairly show my followers,” Corinne Dente (’19) said.
According to Buffer, Instagram’s new algorithm wants to make things easier for their users by predicting how much they truly care about a particular post. The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you will be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.
Instagram goes through a couple of steps when putting together these categories for every user. There are five main categories that determine the order in which you see your post; Interest, Recency, Relationship, Frequency, and Following. First, for Interest, Instagram predicts how much a user may care about a post, meaning they look at search histories, at the relationship shared with each follower and what type of genres of content that you have looked at in the past. Then, Instagram shows you your posts that are recent and, consequently, more relevant. They then look at a new feature called “best friends,” which is a feature that lets you select people who you would preferably look at. They also look at whose stories and live videos you watch, who you direct message, and who you search for. How many times you open Instagram is also taken into consideration, as is the number of followers you have.
“I feel like I can get used to seeing the same people post frequently so I don’t mind the big change. Like any other social media app, Instagram works on pleasing their users by personalizing their feed,” Emanuel Oltavaro (’19) said.
Overall, Instagram’s hope with their feed’s algorithm is to enable users to see the people they are usually looking for without scrolling through their whole feed.