Instagram Hops Aboard the Algorithm Train

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If you’ve noticed that your BFF’s posts from the night before are appearing higher on your Instagram timeline than your old college roommate’s post from 10 minutes ago don’t be alarmed. The Instagram algorithm is in full effect. Instagram’s feed is no longer in chronological order. The platform is delivering what “you will care about most.”

In a recent announcement, Instagram stated that, “On average, people miss 70 percent of their feeds. It’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share as Instagram has grown. Over the past few months, we brought this new way of ordering posts to a portion of the community, and we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way.”

The purpose of this update is to put the best content first; ‘best’ meaning that content a user likes most often and wouldn’t want to miss. It puts the celebrity’s posts you often interact with first along with all of your best friends’ latest posts. The users you interact with most will show up at the top of your feed.

This assumes that the users you interact with most are the ones you wouldn’t want to miss and therefore their posts are going to be shuffled to the top of your feed. Instagram is one of the last of social media sites to switch to algorithm use, but the surprise element isn’t as shocking when you realize Facebook, which owns Instagram, has been using an algorithm for a while now. Gone are the days when posts appeared in the simple order of oldest to newest.

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