Late last week, Instagram unveiled several new design changes — to the shock and horror of many platform users. And while everyone's still talking about Instagram’s new logo and the feed’s monochromatic appearance, perhaps what is most interesting is what is happening behind the scenes. In fact, that's quite possibly the sharing site's biggest change yet: Instagram is changing how photos appear on user's walls, and when. But if you aren’t a fan of the change, how can you use the new Instagram algorithm to customize your feed? How can you use it to your advantage?
The change is nothing new; Instagram announced the algorithm change on its blog in March:
You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds...this means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most. To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most. The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post....all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.
However, backlash to the proposed Instagram change was instantaneous, and many users — like Vickie Mulkerin, who spoke with The New York Times — were quick to voice their concerns:
I like how I can open the app and see what my stepsister Ashley is doing today with my niece and nephew, right in that very moment. I want to judge what’s important, not have some algorithm tell me what it thinks is important.
So what can you do to ensure you see everything you want to see?
Consistently Interact With Family & Friends
Perhaps the most obvious way to “customize your feed,” and to ensure the algorithm works in your favor, is to interact frequently and consistently with your family and friends or anyone whose feed you want to see. This means clicking on that little heart and commenting (and it may also mean using @mentions or tags). How much this will affect your feed remains unclear, but I would assume consistently “liking” information has to be worth something.
Turn On Post Notifications
The second way to “customize your feed” is to turn on Instagram post notifications for any user[s] you really, really want to keep tabs on. By enabling this function, you allow Instagram permission to send you a push notification each and every time a “followed” user posts new content. The good news is you will never, ever miss content. The potential pitfall is that, if the user posts A LOT, your phone may become inundated with notifications. However, turning on this function is easy: Just go to any user’s profile page, click the menu option — the three dots in the upper right-hand corner — and select “Turn On Post Notifications.”
And while this Instagram change may not be ideal for everyone, these "fixes" should help tweak the algorithm in your favor.