On March 15, the Facebook-owned social site said users would start seeing their feed not in a timeline but by an algorithm that prioritizes posts by accounts and kinds of photos users most interact with and view.
A rumor surfaced Monday that Instagram was changing its algorithm sooner than anticipated, and users reacted angrily. First there were a flurry of hashtags such as #KeepInstagramThisWay and #TurnOnNotifications. Then came the photos by bloggers and notable users telling others to turn on notifications, effectively meaning that anytime a user posted, an alert would be sent.
Instagram responded by taking to Twitter and saying, “We’re listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.”
Even the beloved fashion-grammer Eva Chen weighed in on the controversy, posting: “I feel like getting thousands of post notifications a day would be stressful… But that’s none of my business.”
Now that everyone has taken a deep breath, there are a few things we can expect with the coming change:
• The new update hasn’t yet been rolled out and Instagram hasn’t said when it will be introduced as of now. It’s just in a testing phase.
• Business owners and brands have complained that their content won’t be prioritized in user feeds, much like what happened earlier to the Facebook Newsfeed adjustments that stopped prioritizing brand content.
• Expect Instagram to also watch how much time you spend reading or looking at a single post to help determine what to show you, not just choosing what to prioritize based on likes or comments.
• There are some serious star-powered celebs on Instagram who are not happy with the change, including John Mayer, Lena Dunham and Kylie Jenner.
Ugh Instagram if it's not broke don't fix it! Instagram is changing out of chronological order 😔 so let's say you love someone's photos but don't physically "like" their pics they will bump them to the bottom. It's called INSTAgram for a reason. I don't really understand it and there has to be another motive because you follow people for a reason.. I'm trying to see everyone's pics. That's why you created the unfollow button if u don't want to see their photos. I hate this new update @instagram is slowly trying to introduce & yes it's true they warned us all a few weeks ago.
I’d let a family member get swallowed by a dragon before I’d allow Instagram push notifications to come to my phone
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) March 28, 2016