Instagram Announces Curated Feeds

Instagram Announces Curated Feeds

I suppose it was inevitable. One of Instagram's most beloved features is its entirely chronological feed — no algorithm, no priority — all posts are equal. That's coming to an end, though, as the company has just announced the impending introduction of curated feeds.

I despised Facebook's switch to curated feeds. It made it difficult to know when I had checked all the content I had missed since I last logged on, and Facebook's algorithm never really understood what I wanted to see anyway. I even went so far as to install an extension that kept switching my feed back to chronological ordering when Facebook kept trying to switch it to "Top Posts."

Unsurprisingly (seeing as Facebook owns Instagram), Instagram will soon be following suit. The company announced today that in the coming months, the ordering of 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." Instagram promises that they're "going to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way." 

Honestly, I think they already had it right. Having no ordering of posts beyond chronological sorting means I'm free to explore and discover on my own terms instead of being served content that was chosen for me. If I want to get specific, I use hashtags. If I want to see a friend, I search their name. That's part of the fun of Instagram; I often stumble upon things that are different from my norm and that change my vision or way of thinking, and a similarity algorithm will likely filter those out for me. I would much rather see the addition of a "friends" tab, a list in which I could simply add users I follow whose posts I especially don't want to miss. Alas. 

What are your thoughts on this change? Let us know in the comments!

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56 Comments

Joacim Schwartz's picture

There is an extension for facebooks horrible "Top" feed!?

Norbert Tukora's picture

The end is near! IG is going to get more and more FB features every month...
So, what other platform is the next big thing after these? :D

Martin Van Londen's picture

periscope. But I guess that is a completely different know of app.

Jeff McCollough's picture

We should make our own.

Michael Wessel's picture

So the big keep getting bigger and the small end up having to buy fake followers to boost them into the spotlight in hopes for being noticed by real people? *starts looking for the next image sharing platform*

Crystal Provencher's picture

So who wants to design a new app with me :D ?! Dammit IG, why!?

Jeff McCollough's picture

I'm with you. Let's make something better.

Adam Ottke's picture

I'm naturally worried that we'll see lame, crowd-pleasing posts more and more. This will inevitably lead to a flurry of whatever click-bait type of posts might be the Instagram equivalent. But still, I keep a tight hold on who I follow and for what reasons (mostly close friends). So as long as it's all there, I don't mind too much. And I can still explore the rest when I feel like it.

That's where Facebook is different -- it'll show things from friends of friends or random companies that you maybe ALMOST care about... But there's a lot of stuff on there you never directly follow and rarely really care about. At least that shouldn't (hopefully) happen quite so soon on IG.

This is all unless I'm misunderstanding this... IG is still only showing you things you follow and sorting THOSE things by popularity, no? Or are they going to start injecting more crap you don't care about into your feed. Then we're doomed (or at least users like me will start to care less and less and eventually just leave).

Caleb Kerr's picture

I'm sure it'll only show you content from people you follow, so it'd just be how those posts are ordered. Plus advertisements.

Steven Lelham's picture

It should be left alone. I myself post pictures depending on the time of day to get a certain demographic.

This is just an act so they make people spend money and buy ads so people see their pictures.

Tim swart's picture

More and more people are jumping over to snap chat

Andrew Houser's picture

Not really a photo sharing site, though, is it?

Brendan Baker's picture

yes let me promote my photography business for 10 seconds! Be quick!

Andrew Houser's picture

Best thing FB could do? Leave Instagram the ***k alone. JESUS, their curated feeds in FB proved useless enough I finally killed my account there. If Instagram goes the way of FB feeds, I guess we'll all just... go back to Flickr?

marknie's picture

IG is already a goner in my opinion. . .

Kyle Medina's picture

I would have to strongly disagree but this will kill it for me. Snapchat is becoming very popular, took it forever, but I thought the two top apps were IG and Snapchat, followed by Twitter.

Kyle Medina's picture

NOO!!!! That is all........fuck!

Tom Lim's picture

Totally agree with this article! I also change to chronological order on Facebook.

Simon Patterson's picture

So, now IG is being killed, what's the next "must use" photography sharing website?

Anonymous's picture

I guess I should be glad I have thousands of followers and a high engagement but this going to suck for a lot of people trying to make a name for themselves. Dont fix it if it aint broke!

Brad Barton's picture

This is about advertising money, period. By changing it this way, they can show you "more popular" posts that you may be interested in - such as those posts paid for by the highest bidder.

Like any other popular platform, it has to be monetized to survive. You cannot pay for the servers necessary to run a Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or snapchat forever without having some way to raise money.

If you think otherwise, you're delusional.

Jenny-Anne Jett's picture

somehow i don't think zuckerberg is having to use foodstamps just yet. i have no problem with advertising (especially if they get it right/targeted to me. i would adore to be notified of bands or writers or whoever that i follow announcing tours to my city), but i should be able to choose my content, & also not have chunks/whole days of it hidden

Brendan Baker's picture

Wouldn't this f**k over photographers with a small following? Those following them won't see their posts when they pop up.... smh

Dominik Wörner's picture

Oh nooo! The chronological feed was exactly what I loved about Instagram. Seems like I have to look for an alternative to my favorite social media. :(

Jenny-Anne Jett's picture

Aarggh!!! Surely the whole point of facebook & instagram is self-curation of our feeds?!?!? I suppose now instagram will also follow facebook's evil hiding of one third of all posts so that even when we go to the trouble of going over to someone's (or even our own!!) page we can only see two out of three posts and then suddenly whole days or blocks of days will be missing with absolutely no way of finding them (even our own). I guess we're just a sociological experiment to them :(

Dan Marchant's picture

It is a photo sharing app. I want to see all the images so I can decide if I like them. How am I going to discover new stuff if the feed is slanted to what (they think) I already like.

Anonymous's picture

This is so stupid. They just want to make money hoping people will buy ads instead. I won't, I'll try to find the next app instead.

Vladimir Byazrov's picture

Greediness makes those apps obsolete. Yet Facebook is too big to care about what people think.
Hated curating sht when Facebook broke our timelines and now Instagram. Damn them.

Chris Balo's picture

Well, I guess somehow we will have to adapt to this change. Like many others I just hope they will get it right and we will still be able to easily see the content that "algorithm' thinks is less important or popular.

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