**EDIT: And lo and behold, fears stoked about Instagram's inevitable adoption of an algorithm to muddle up our once-chonological feeds has led to some ludicrous behaviour. **
**Cue Insta-famous and actual famous people paid to promote things through their Instagram posts uploading a series of tiles begging followers to 'turn on post notifications'. Their hope is that, if their followers turn on notifications so that they get a message every single time the person they follow posts anything, they'll hold onto engagement from their followers. This notification would effectively override any non-chronological algorithm that would prioritise most-liked images over the slow burners. **
Instagram (which Kylie Jenner pointed out is 'called INSTA-gram for a reason') responded to the worries with this message:
Unfortunately for those uploading various pictures of graphics (or themselves) pointing to the top right corner of the screen, this move might have lost them followers and the precious engagement they bring...
As you scroll through your Instagram feed, currently what you see is pictures posted by those you follow (or stalk) in chronological order. That’s how we like it, right? Us generation of tech-savvy, digital natives like seeing our daily dose of filtered pictures in nice, neat, time and date order.
Well, Instagram has decided to ignore this and dun dun dunnnnnn, it's now joined the new algorithm club. The club that displays an algorithm-based newsfeed, similar to Facebook. So, from now on, as you decide to take a cheeky look on Insta during your lunch break, you will no longer see that snap your BFF living in San Fran just posted of the sunsetting (I have in no way, shape or form calculated up the time difference here – just guessing). Instead, Instagram will place the photos and videos it thinks you will most want to see from all the people you follow right bang slap at the top of your feed. What is going on!!
Apparently it’s down to how popular Instagram is (400 million regular visitors, guys FYI). We supposedly miss around 70 percent of our posts, according to co-founder and chief executive of Instagram, Kevin Systrom. This new technique will mean whatever we are seeing is in the top 30 percent of content.
But what about those people who don’t give a shit about the most ‘popular’ content? What if to them, the most important content is a picture shared by a sister at a big family reunion that they can’t attend? Shared at the exact moment said person checks their feed so they get a sense of familiarity and closeness from a single picture. That picture might get lost in content with thousand of likes, just because it isn’t deemed ‘popular’ enough. Doesn’t seem right, does it?
People are getting pretty outraged by this news, with #RIPinstagram trending on both Insta and Twitter.
Why do social networks think they can choose what I want to see? Please stop. #RIPInstagram and your glorious chronological feed.
— Kyah Skavinski (@kyskav) March 16, 2016
So, is this the death of Instagram? We don’t think it’s here yet, but it’s definitely put us off our mid-afternoon scrolling.
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Follow Alyss on Twitter @alyssbowen
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.