The only social media platform I have used the most over the years is Instagram. I never had a Facebook account, Google+ was never good enough, and I could never make sense out of Twitter. When I started my travel blog, I started using Instagram to connect better with my audience. I later opened a Facebook account, too, just to create a page for my blog.
I must say, I used to like Instagram. Mostly because it never intended to be a social network like Facebook. Even after Facebook acquired it 6 years ago, Instagram continued being a no-BS photo-sharing platform.
Then came changes, many of them. Being a Facebook subsidiary, Instagram had to mess with the feed, after all. So they went ahead and changed the feed from reverse-chronological to an algorithm based feed. The number of ads you saw on your feed increased, too.
When Facebook bought it for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram had 30 million users and was earning no revenue. Facebook’s charm worked on it well and now it has over 800 million users.
Instagram Feed Improvements
Continuing its tradition of messing with your feed, Instagram has just introduced more changes. “Today we’re introducing changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely,” Instagram has announced. In the blog entry, Instagram said that ‘they have heard it feels unexpected when your feed refreshes and bumps you to the top.’
To tackle this, they have introduced a ‘new posts’ button which will let users refresh their feed when they want, rather than it being refresh automatically. Folks at Instagram hopes this change make browsing the app ‘much more enjoyable.’
In addition, Instagram has also announced a change to their feed algorithm. This change will ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first. This way, your feed will feel more ‘fresh,’ they say, and you won’t miss the moments you care about.
What this means is that your feed will continue to be messy, and Instagram’s algorithm will decide which posts are more important to you. In other works, no reverse-chronological feed.
Instagram Continues to Be a Mess
There was a time when I saw porn videos landing in my feed tagged with most popular tags. I have reported hundreds of them posts and accounts for spamming and pornography. Those porn posts are less of an issue now, by the way.
Over the past few months, I have enjoyed Instagram less than ever. With their constant changes to feed, frequent ads and recommendations, and the ‘explore’ tab that renders of no use for me, I believe Instagram is simply turning into Facebook. Seriously, I don’t want recommendations to follow people I am not following by choice. Seeing them popping up everywhere – even after hitting that ‘X’ button is a major turn off.
I am beginning to feel that Instagram is headed towards becoming Facebook. With the recent privacy fiasco leading people to dump Facebook and to adopt Instagram, it seems Zuck and team are coming after us there, too. This whole privacy fiasco was the reason why I never used Facebook. I hope the same doesn’t happen with Instagram and I am not forced to leave the one social media platform I actually use.
What do you think about Instagram and their efforts to make your feed ‘more relevant?’ Do you think Instagram will soon turn into the next Facebook? Do share your thoughts with me.