Nearly 4 years to the date that Facebook purchased Instagram, the social media juggernaut has imposed its most infuriating feature on the photo-sharing platform. The Algorithm. On Tuesday, Instagram announced its feed would be transitioning from the chronological stream we’ve all become accustomed to, towards a feed “ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”
That’s right: Instagram is about to make it even harder for you to see content from all the people you follow. Instead, it’s going to favour the posts it believes you’ll care the most about.
While I’ll agree with Instagram that I probably do miss about 70% of my feed – I’m constantly missing out on posts from my friends – I don’t think an algorithm that re-orders all posts is the way to go.
What does this mean for bloggers?
Well, it means the pressure is on even more so to create content that can generate likes and comments. The cynic in me wonders if this will only continue to encourage bloggers to purchase followers, likes and comments. While this engagement used to be a nice-to-have, it’s now a must-have to ensure your content shows up in followers’ feeds.
It also means bloggers may have to commit to acting like brands.
It’s time to shell out for sponsored posts, whether you like it or not. You didn’t think they would make such a change altruistically, did you? This change isn’t about user experience, it’s about dollar bills. Not that this should come as a shock.
The Facebook newsfeed change was likely the #1 driver for sponsored units for brands – especially coupled with tough competition for eyeballs in the newsfeed. The same is now true for Instagram.
I’ll be honest – this makes me sad. While Instagram was far from pure, it still felt like a fairly organic channel. Yes, even with the influx of mega-styled posts (guilty). Fighting for space in the feed will take away some of that joy for me – and might even encourage me to give out likes and comments more judiciously to control my feed.
If anything, I think this change will only encourage more users over to Snapchat. You know, the land of the free where the content is free-flowing, likes are non-existent and it’s nearly impossible to style every single snap. I’ve been loving the platform for its stream-of-consciousness quality and authenticity. The immediacy of it all takes the pressure off and I love it. From a brand strategy perspective, we already know that teen users hate Facebook, like Instagram and LOVE snapchat. This change to Instagram’s algorithm will only seek to solidify that Snapchat is the place to be for the younger demo.
So that’s my rant.
But I’m curious – what do you think? Will you still use Instagram? Is there another platform you’ll consider instead?