Home Technology Instagram Feed Changes Provoke Major Freakout

Instagram Feed Changes Provoke Major Freakout

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Instagram has come in for major criticism from users regarding a proposed change to the home feed on the popular photo sharing app.

A number of celebrities, bloggers and social media personalities have been telling users to turn on post notifications in order to see their photos, videos and messages. The announcements came after Instagram announced that it would be updating the homefeed from a reverse chronological feed to an algorithmically-timeline.

Instagram moves to calm frantic users

Instagram believes that the new homefeed will help users keep up to date on the posts that they care about the most. However the company has since admitted that the changes will not be introduced immediately.

“We still have weeks, or even months, of testing to go. Currently the test groups are very small. When we roll it out broadly, we will let the community know,” the spokesperson said.

Similarities abound with the Facebook homefeed. Instagram is owned by the social media giant.

Algorithm will apparently improve the user experience

Details about the algorithm are thin on the ground, and the company has not revealed how it will be refined by further testing. However Instagram has said that the order of photos and videos will be based on how interested the app thinks the user will be in the content.

“You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average of 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most,” according to a blog post on the company’s website earlier this month.

However users are not happy about the proposed changes and have been expressing their discontent online. Despite Instagram claiming that feeds will become less cluttered as a result of the change, plenty of users want the photo sharing app to stay just the way it is.

Celebrity users criticize the move

Many people are reporting that the new system will be implemented as of Tuesday, but Instagram has made it clear that testing is still underway.

That has not stopped users such as singer-songwriter John Mayer criticizing the move. He believes that a chronological feed helps artists to remain relevant on Instagram, and questioned how an algorithm would predict his changing tastes.

Kendall Jenner took to Twitter to tell Instagram heads: “Don’t fix something that isn’t broken.”

Other users have started promoting a way around the algorithm, namely switching on push notifications. Instagram users that are worried that their posts will get lost under the new system have been posting using the #turnmeon. In doing so they will receive an alert each time that account posts an update.

Instagram has become a huge social media phenomenon, and as always when changes are proposed there will be plenty of people to complain. Human beings are wary of change, even when it comes down to their favorite photo-sharing app.

If Instagram can come up with a transparent explanation for how the algorithm will work, and how people can avoid missing out on content that they want to see, the company could still assuage the fears of users. If not, well it looks as though people will just have to get used to it eventually.

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Brendan Byrne

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