Instagram is evolving, and not all users are happy about it. How will Instagram change? User feeds may look different, but ABC News reported that it may not be something to worry about right away.
Beginning as early as Tuesday, Instagram's new algorithm will curate content in feeds, according to TIME. Instead of seeing posts chronologically, users' top posts will be determined based on the kind of content they've liked, historically. The announcement of the change led some users with smaller audiences — users that aren't verified but have sizable followings, or users who are not companies or corporations — to be afraid that their followers would lose their posts, but that's not entirely accurate. Right now, Instagram is only planning to test the algorithm using small groups of users, ABC News reported. The rest of Instagram may not see changes for months.
That isn't stopping many users from preparing for the shift. Brands and celebrities are asking their followers to turn on notifications to be alerted to new posts, according to Teen Vogue. The option to "Turn on Post Notifications" is available under the three dots in the top-right corner of any Instagram profile.
Turning on notifications ensures that users will see posts from their favorite accounts, but Instagram's algorithm won't actually eliminate any photos from a feed. In a blog post, Instagram wrote that the algorithm only changes the order in which content is presented:
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. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.
According to Instagram, the average user already misses about 70 percent of the photos and videos delivered to their feed; people may think they're seeing everything they care about already, but the company hopes that the algorithm will actually lead to a better user experience.
When a major change comes to a social network, it's easy for users to feel as though they don't have any control over the situation; New York Magazine writer Brian Feldman argued that it isn't true. The Instagram algorithm is designed to work with the user by responding to personal preferences; if users interact with posts from accounts they enjoy, they're likely to still see the content posted by those accounts featured prominently in their feed. The shift could actually lead to an increase in interaction since likes and comments will actually impact the user experience.
Social media changes can be difficult to adjust to (ask anyone on Facebook). But, with time, Instagram's algorithm may make it even easier to find new content you love.