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Instagram working on algorithmic feeds similar to Facebook

Photos and videos in your feed will no longer be shown chronologically
March 15, 2016

Instagram is about to go the way of its parent company, Facebook, in displaying the items in users’ home feeds. As it has just announced in a new blog post, the popular photo- and video-sharing company is planning to go algorithmic.

70 percent missed

70 percent missed
Instagram feeds today: chronological, not algorithmic.

Instagram says that 70 percent of shared photos and videos are missed by users on their feeds simply because it takes a lot of scrolling to get to the ones that were posted not so recently — particularly when opening Instagram upon waking up or after a long time away from the service. This results in users’ not seeing the posts they might care about the most.

Instagram wants this to change. So, it’s changing the way posts are ordered in feeds, using an algorithm similar to the ones employed by Facebook and, more recently, Twitter.

Learn more about Twitter's algorithmic timeline



To more or less ensure that the posts you might care about the most are surfaced to the top of your feeds, Instagram is working to reorder posts “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

If your favorite 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. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.

- Instagram

Initially at least, all of the posts from accounts you follow will still be shown in your feed, but just not chronologically as things are at the moment. It makes sense, then, that Instagram has recently begun displaying timestamps below captions and comments rather than on top of posts, where they can easily be seen.

Coming soon

Coming soon

Instagram’s new algorithm-based feed display will take effect “in the coming months.” There’s no word yet, though, on whether it will be something that users can choose to opt in to and on whether users can choose to still view posts in normal chronological order. I, for one, welcome our new algorithmic overlords.

Learn more about the recent changes to Instagram

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Instagram, Inc.