In 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on a minor spending spree, buying Instagram – a rival social platform that enjoyed worldwide success. But is Instagram just going to be a clone of Facebook rather than build on it’s own success?
The photo-friendly sharing site was snapped up for a cool $1 billion, and there wasn’t much disruption at first for Instagram users. However, Zuckerberg got a taste for ‘popularity sharing’ of Facebook posts, versus traditional chronological ordering. Last week, it was announced that the same will be happening to Instagram too.
By changing the order of post to show the most ‘liked’ content first, it could be argued that less meaningful content will be filtered away without any effort. The lack of choice in the matter though has sparked #RIPInstagram, which has trended worldwide in opposition to this change.
Instagram argue that they wish to roll out this change, because a user on average is at risk of missing out on up to 70% of their feed. By calculating which posts would ‘mean’ the most to the user (e.g., new content from a favourite celebrity, or someone that they frequently interact with), the posts will stay near the top of a feed until it is seen.
Many users say that the algorithm change will take away the spontaneity of what they see; the appeal of being challenged or surprised by their feed now diminished. Instagram say that they want to ‘take time to get this change right’. Watch this space!