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!

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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

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


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

We should make our own.

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*

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

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

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).

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.

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.

More and more people are jumping over to snap chat

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

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

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?

IG is already a goner in my opinion. . .

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.

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

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

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

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!

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.

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

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

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. :(

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 :(

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.

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.

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.

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.

This effing sucks.
Personally, I think the algorithms at facebook, soon at Instagram are doing just what they're supposed to do: make a frustrated user pay for additional reach.
Now that the fb cow is milked dry they are going to the next one.

IG is going to go the way of Facebook (which, let's not forget, owns it). Pretty soon you'll need to pay to have your posts boosted. Social media is unsustainable without a profitable business model.

Oh God no.

And so dies my last effort to actually use "Social" media. Facebook? Newfeed. Dead. Twitter? Top Tweets. Dead. Tumblr? WTF, couldn't figure it out. Dead. Flickr/500px/NG Your Shot, etc. Figured it out, got viral, but went nowhere. Dead.

Maybe I'll try Tinder - nice to meet you - sorry I'm married, but do you need a photographer???

that made me chuckle. I think there might be a decent market for profile pictures there :P

I've actually seen ads where I live for people doing just that!

This is garbage

Like virtually everyone, I'm also not at all a fan, but I hold out hope that it'll be implemented in a decent way. It'll have to be different from FB because while on FB you get served photos that your friends have interacted with (that were posted by friends of friends), I can't possibly imagine Instagram would start doing that. It would remove the entire point of the follow if your feed just became cluttered with the junk your friends like. The good that *maybe* could come out of this is this: You know when you post a really great photo and it gets a great response relative to your followership? Lets say it gets 100 likes. But someone with 100x the followers you have posts a similar photos that's much worse, but it gets 10,000 likes? A well-designed algorithm could help the smaller accounts that have relatively popular posts for their follower count to be seen more. Idk, maybe I'm being too optimistic.

I dislike this idea...a lot. It's a free app though, so I guess they can do what they want.

Why change something that is not broken and works really well. We need to fight against this because I bet there are a lot of people who feels exactly the same. This will hurt new businesses and people with a small following. Why does Facebook think it will be a good idea when it's working fine and growing with users!

If they keep the option of having all the content in chronical order and just have a more content curated feed as an option, it could not be that bad.
However if they implement the same system as Facebook did, this would be really bad news.

Personally, I don't think it will be any worse than it is now. IG is so overcrowded and the average user is following so many people that (unless you post multiple times a day or have over 1M followers) your posts get buried FAST and your engagement has been hit hard. I personally went from averaging 1200-1400 likes per post to less than 500 likes per post over the last couple of months. I think this change will be bad for people with a small number of followers or people who are late to the party and are trying to grow now, but hopefully for people with accounts like mine (30k+) we'll see an increase in engagement.

Soon they will let you pay to be at the top of people's feeds and soon someone else will make something to replace Instagram.

Terrible idea. RIP, Instagram. Perhaps this explains why my likes have suddenly gone from 50-80 per post to maybe 20 tops. Lame.

This could be the death knell of's the "facebook effect"...I knew eventually they would bring in their algorithms and nonsense to an app that everyone loved until they eventually kill it. Who's going to replace Instagram (it's not Snapchat, that thing is nonsense, especially for long term marketing)?

Goodbye Instagram

Damn I hate Facebook feeds...I only visit Facebook when I needed to check if a client enquiry was really "genuine" or trying to contact an old friend.

Seriously? Is there a petition we could sign to stop this? When I saw more and more paid ads on IG i knew things are not good...

Just when I am getting used to a habit of using's like you just rented a house but you were told the property was sold and you'd better get ready to move!

The whole thing is wack. I like to see things in the order in which they came. FB is so aggravating when you see the timeline skip all over the place. What makes these people think this is a good idea?

This is the most idiotic idea I've heard! And if they MUST do it, at the very friggin least give the users the option to choose, don't force everyone to use this shit!

Well...I'm guessing as long as you hash tag the crap out of your post it will get to the proper eyes...So you won't need to worry if YOUR post is at the top, or some dumb Damn Dainel post. I personally didn't like over hash tagging...but now I definitely will.

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