Have you noticed something different about your Instagram posts since yesterday? Perhaps you did not pay attention to the fact that some very old Instgram posts are appearing at the top of your feeds. Yes, Instagram has now ditched the chronological way posts were ordered. Instagram lovers, welcome to the world of algorithm timeline.
Instagram posts switching to an algorithm based timeline was a long time coming. At least, since Facebook switched over to algorithm based timeline with success, it had to happen to Instagram posts too. After all, Instagram is owned by Facebook. Recall, that Twitter also ditched the chronological timeline to algorithm-based timelines. This was in a bid to copy the success of Facebook. Apparently.
Why Algorithms For Instagram Posts
I have never being a fan of this algorithm way of ordering the posts on my Facebook page. With this method, Facebook assumed they know what I want to see. Or to put it another way, they presume to know which of my Facebook contacts are more important to me. The result of that change is that I get to miss several posts by people the Facebook algorithm decided are not important to me. This is because these so called unimportant posts are buried far down the timeline. This is what is coming to your timeline vis-a-vis Instagram posts. So don’t be surprised to see very old updates appearing on you Instagram page before the new ones. That is how algorithm based timeline works.
Announcing the development in a blog post titled ‘See the Moments You Care About First’ Instagram said;
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.
With this new ordering you won’t miss your favorite band’s video after the concert, even if it took place across the world in a different time zone. And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.
You’ll see this new experience as we roll it out over the coming month. We’re going to keep improving over time to help make Instagram even better. Learn more in the Help Center.”
From the press release, it is clear that this new way of ordering Instagram posts was tested over the past few months. Apparently, these tests proved very successful. Quite apart from the fact that Instagram was expected to follow Facebook in opting for algorithm based timelines, Instagram actually warned the community about the impending arrival of algorithm based timelines. The warning was back in March in a similarly titled blog post. Reading through the first ‘See the Moments You Care About First‘ sounded like going through a regular corporate press releases. You know, the kind of condescending talk that tries to justify shoving down an unpopular policy down the throats of hapless people. Making it sound as if it is for our own good.
The point here is these, companies should spare us the patronizing talk. The products belong to them. They can do whatever they need to do to make money. Because in the final analysis, the money they hope to make is what drives these sort of changes. Which is why Instagram moved fast to reassure advertisers and big brands that algorithms would not harm their businesses. Thoughtfully showing them how to take advantage of the algorithm based Instagram posts.
If you are yet to notice the new Instagram posts order, you haven’t dodged a bullet. It would come to you soon enough.