Algorithm updates – loathed by business and personal social media users alike. However, after an uptick in viral posts claiming Instagram is interfering with users’ feeds again, the platform has released an official statement denying the claims.
An update that will certainly go down in history as one of the most unpopular is Instagram’s shift from a chronological timeline to an algorithm-powered feed. Now, Instagram prioritizes content that it thinks you want to see, as opposed to the old school real-time stream. Despite protests from thousands of users, Instagram has no plans to revert back to the chronological format. In a press briefing last year, their product lead Julian Gutman said, “We’re not thinking about this at this time.”
Instagram appears to have fallen foul of users’ preferences once again after a post went viral claiming that only 7% of an account’s followers actually see what they share. In fact, this post has been around since the beginning of last year – but now it’s gone viral in earnest, it’s garnered thousands of likes, comments, and shares. Mostly used to advocate for small businesses, this allegation is followed by a request to like or comment to boost the account’s value in the eyes of the all-powerful algorithm. It’s even spread as far as Facebook and Pinterest, urging users to mobilize in aid of their favorite emerging brands and influencers.
However, Instagram has decided to come out and debunk these claims. They hit back in a Twitter thread stating:
“We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you’re following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.“
So, assuming that you have the patience to keep on scrolling, you should see every post from every account you follow. Experts suspect that the algorithm is a strategy to encourage you to spend longer on the app, so in many ways, this is just another part of their cunning plan to get you hooked. That said, Instagram still highlighted how their algorithm calculates the value of a post:
“What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.”
So, if you read between the lines, engagement and likes do affect an account’s ranking on your feed. Although the 7% statistic may be untrue, your double-taps do have an impact – however, it’s unlikely to work if it’s just on one post. Nonetheless, this explains why the claims went viral – and meanwhile, the epic battle of Instagram users vs. the algorithm continues.