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November 2022 | by Megan Holcombe, Conner Downard
Social media platforms think they know exactly what content users want to see, using sophisticated algorithms to determine which posts show up in a newsfeed.
The only problem is that most users hate the algorithm.
In 2016, Instagram announced that they would be transitioning to an algorithm-based newsfeed. Instagram claimed that the algorithm was supposed to “improve user experience” by showing the moments they think the user will care about most.
But it didn’t get the warm reception the platform anticipated.
While the algorithm itself is unknown to the general population, users regularly report seeing older posts at the top of their feeds, right next to posts from popular accounts with strong engagement levels that they don’t necessarily follow. The beloved Instagram of 2015 is long gone, and with it went all the pictures from your friends and family that you thought you’d find in your feed.
According to a statement released on March 22, Instagram wants to “give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.”
Although not admitting outright that they plan to return to a chronological order, they say newer posts are more likely to appear first in feeds. You can also be on the lookout for a new posts button that refreshes your newsfeed instead of the auto-refresh feature currently being used.
The big takeaway is that users will have control over their feeds again, deciding what content they want to see and when they want to see it.
Businesses and influencer accounts will likely see a drop in engagement without the algorithm since their posts will not automatically be sent to the top of feeds anymore. That said, with the algorithm gone, users may actually be willing to take the time and scroll through their feeds again.
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