It’s a trend that seems unstoppable. More and more, social media services are implementing algorithms that automatically manage what you do and don’t see. First it was Facebook, then Twitter. Now, Instagram is doing the same thing. Earlier this month, the photo-sharing service posted this on its blog:
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.
To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.
The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.
If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.
We’re going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way. You’ll see this new experience in the coming months.
This change has been met with outrage from the Instagram community. There’s a Change.org petition that’s demanding to Keep Instagram Chronological. The petition has racked up over 280,000 signatures so far.
Every time a social network announces a change like this, it’s met with a serious amount of brushback from its user base. And then, a month or so after the change is implemented, everyone quiets down and just goes along with it. The only real way a user can potentially impact these monolithic networks is to leave and never come back. But few are willing to make that commitment.
If you’re an Instagram user and you appreciate the natural, chronological feed you’ve always had, enjoy it while it lasts. This change is expected to take hold in the next few months and it’s unlikely it’ll ever go back.