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ECommerceTimes.com

Instagram's New Algorithm Promises Most Favorable Sorting

By Quinten Plummer
Mar 17, 2016 3:41 PM PT

Instagram on Tuesday announced plans to dump chronological posts in favor of algorithmic recommendations.

Instagram's New Algorithm Promises Most Favorable Sorting

Users miss about 70 percent of the content that flows through their feeds, which the company attributed to its growth and its system for ordering content.

The new algorithm, which will begin rolling out in the coming months, will weigh the content by relevancy to the user -- the relationship an individual has with the poster. Everything still will be in the feeds but in a different order, the company stated.

Posts from favorites, from celebrities to family members, will hang out around the top of a user's feed.

Furor Over the Feed

The months of lead time Instagram has offered will give users time to come to terms with the changes. The result could play out similarly to when parent company Facebook switched up the way its feed worked, according to Justin Hamel, CEO of MastaMinds.

"When Facebook made this change many moons ago, I thought the Internet was going to close down, everybody was so mad," he told the E-Commerce Times. "After a few days, all the people who said they would be leaving Facebook and would never be back were back on Facebook like normal."

Fw users will notice the difference or care deeply about it, according to Hamel. Those users, who are among the most frequent Instagram patrons, likely would be critical of any change to the platform.

"On Facebook's timeline, you can just select to see the most recent timeline postings," he said. "I'm sure Instagram will allow something similar. If not, then frequent Instagram users should go work out their scrolling finger -- because it's going to be scrolling season."

Mouths to Feed

Advertising may play a part in the company's decision.

"With Instagram advertisers, the move is an indication that brands will have to pay a nominal fee to get their posts viewed," Elizabeth Lampert, president of Elizabeth Lampert PR.

"Not surprising, that's how they do it with Facebook," she told the E-Commerce Times.

The changes come down to putting more of the right content in front of the right pairs of eyes, which results in higher user engagement and drives ad revenues, according to Itai Tsiddon, cofounder of Lightricks.

"With photo-sharing platforms, the key to a successful product experience -- and ... a solid business -- is great content," he told the E-Commerce Times. "Instagram's move to personalize news feeds means that quality content becomes more readily available than ever."

The upcoming changes will put more emphasis on powerful creativity apps that empower users to produce high-end visual content, Tsiddon said. "The developers in the app economy that focus on ways to improve imaging quality -- whether it's photo or video editing -- can benefit."


Quinten Plummer is a longtime technology reporter and an avid PC gamer who explored local news for a few years, covering law enforcement and government beats, before returning to writing about things run by ones and zeros and the people who make them. If it pushes pixels or improves lives, he wants to learn all he can about it.


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