Instagram had some pretty big news for us this week. They announced that they will soon begin to filter the pictures in your feed based on an algorithm. That’s right – images will no longer be presented in the chronological order that they are posted. Instead, we will see the images the Instagram algorithm selects for us in the order that the Instagram algorithm thinks is best. The problem? The new Instagram feed update is now shielding us from new experiences and perspectives.
But we’ll admit, at face value the concept of the new Instagram feed update seems like a good idea or at least it has good intentions. Instagram further softens our emotions by saying, “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 determination 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 favorite or comment on.
We may be mad at them, but truth is – 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 problem with the new Instagram feed update is that when our social media accounts are filled with everything that we want to and like to see, we start to think that our whole life should be like that and we expect it to be. The algorithm isolates us from reality – that there are other views and beliefs, as well as a false sense of validation in our own views and beliefs. Therefore, algorithms – no likey.
Additionally, this means 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.