Wednesday , June 13 2018

Instagram’s algorithmic feed looks to be on its way again

While users focus on Instagram’s visual makeover in the last week, it seems changes are afoot behind the scenes to implement a more significant change, the move to Instagram’s algorithmic feed.

It was only in the last week that Instagram changed its visual style, with a new icon, logo, and layout for its mobile apps. There was a bit of a collective chuckle on social media about the simplicity of Instagram’s new logo, but it seems the laugh might be on us, with Instagram continuing with its rollout of its algorithmic feed for users in the US, and we could well be next.

The announcement shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Instagram told its users two months ago that this change was coming, and though there was a fairly significant backlash, leading to the company shelving the plans temporarily, it’s now on its way. We’ve seen reports from users in the US, New Zealand and elsewhere that this change has hit their feeds, and there’s little reason to doubt that — absent some phenomenal backlash — the rollout will reach us here in Australia soon as well.

It’s not without risk, though. Instagram reach has been important for brands and influencers for some time. A user with a million followers would know, for a certainty, that their posts would appear in the feeds of their one million followers, though depending on how many users those users themselves follow, they mightn’t necessarily see that post. With an algorithmic feed, however, brands and influencers can have no guarantee that their posts will be seen by any number of viewers.

Facebook (the owners of Instagram) made a similar change to their news feed a while ago now, and while it didn’t bring the end of days, it certainly made Facebook arguably less useful for some users .. though for others, the more intelligent, not necessarily chronological, news feed does save a bit of time; in my experience, the more useful stuff does tend to filter to the top, based on your preferences over time.

Instagram’s stance remains unchanged; at the time of writing, they’re denying any official rollout of the algorithmic feed to all users, though they do acknowledge that they’re rolling it out to some accounts for “testing purposes”.

If you notice your Instagram feed change, do let us know. Ours remain, for the moment, unchanged.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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CGradeCyclist
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CGradeCyclist

I have two Instagram accounts, and one of them has moved over to the new algorithmic feed.
Massive pain in the proverbial. My feed had a massive run of 8 posts from one persons account (they’d posted over two days!), then a mish-mash of posts that had been made anywhere over the last 48 hours.
It is clearly favouring posts from a few accounts in my feed (which I don’t like or comment on any more than others, so wondering if they’ve paid money?). At any rate, I really dislike it and have already reduced my usage of that account…

ericcoomer
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Mine changed to non-chronological/algorithmith and I hate it.

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