Your Instagram feed currently works by displaying images in a chronological order, so the most recently posted image will be the closest to the top. That is in contrast to the how the Facebook wall works, which decides which content is most relevant to you and places the most relevant content at the top and least relevant at the bottom.
But as Instagram announced on their blog, parent-company Facebook will be taking the algorithm from your Facebook wall and inserting it into your Instagram feed, meaning that content on Instagram will now be arranged by relevance and not by time.
There are certainly pros and cons to this big change.
- Instagram wrote in their blog post that “people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds.” That’s because by organizing content by time, naturally that content will stack on top of itself and it becomes more difficult to view older content.
- Facebook’s algorithm does a pretty good job figuring out what type of content you enjoy, so we can assume that that same algorithm will have similar success on Instagram.
- It will guarantee that you won’t miss images posted by your close friends at odd hours or busy hours. That picture of your best friend’s puppy, whether it was posted at midnight or in the middle of the Super Bowl, will show up high on your feed because you’ve liked many of your best friend’s images in the past.
- Many people worry that content will legitimately “disappear” and that Facebook/Instagram will now have the power to decide what photos will be seen and what photos will not.
- There is fear that Facebook/Instagram have an ulterior motive: advertising. By placing all of the most relevant content in one place (at the top), there will be added attention on that area which means any advertising in that area will be worth much more.
- If I decide that skiing really interests me, and I start following a skiing account, how long will it take the algorithm to decide that I want skiing content at the top of my feed? And what about the opposite? How long will it take to realize I don’t want to see a certain type of content anymore?