Will the new Instagram Algorithm spell the end?
This week Instagram announced some major changes that could seriously affect how we interact with the platform. In a mild mannered blog post titled ‘See the Moments You Care About First’ they announced the introduction of a new Instagram algorithm.
You will be familiar with the algorithm already operated by Facebook whereby you do not see every piece of content that your friends and favourite sites share. Instead Facebook decides, through the algorithm, what it thinks you will like. Some say this has been the secret to Facebook’s continued success. Twitter on the other hand has suffered over the last few years with people’s feeds becoming so full they never actually see the Tweets that would interest them. Twitter have now also announced they will be introducing an algorithm and it resulted in a heavy backlash from many users with the introduction of the hashtag #RIPTwitter.
Initially the algorithm announced by Instagram will effect your main feed and rather than showing you everything in chronological order, it will display the pictures it thinks you will like first. The blog states, “If your favourite 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.” It continues by saying, “when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.”
Instagram state that at the moment it will only effect the order of your photos. You should still see all the photo’s of the feed you have carefully curated over the years. However this is just a start and there is every possibility Facebook will takeover the curation of your Instagram feed in a very similar way to Facebook itself.
It may not be all bad though. Instagram claim we miss 70% of the photo’s in our feed so they want to ensure that the 30% we do see are the very best. Clearly the intention behind this is to keep people on the Instagram platform for longer and therefore increase advertising revenue but it could be mutually beneficial. As a photographer I only want to see the very best photographs. When browsing Instagram you have to wade through a large quantity of terrible images to find the good ones. Instagram has already made efforts to resolve this through the ‘Top Posts’ feature on popular hashtags and the Instagram algorithm will take this a step further.
Whatever the outcome the next few months, we will see Instagram develop and change in a major way. It may be wise to reserve judgement until the effects become more clear but I am hopeful that good content and good photography will shine through.
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