Rumour is that Instagram will be rolling out it’s controversial algorithm “imminently“. ie within the next 24 hours. Now I don’t know how many of you are on Instagram, but if you are, then it’s possible that, like me, you’re not too chuffed at the prospect of this. At the moment, your feed is chronological. Which means you see posts as they happen, in order, in real time. When you stop for a break, you can sit with your coffee and scroll through your feed and see what everyone has been up to in the past couple of hours. I personally like the sense of connection I get knowing that while I’m sewing one thing, at the exact same time someone else is shopping for cacti! It’s part of what gives IG it’s sense of community for me….which is why I favour it over all other social media. Well…for now :/
The switch to an algorithm based feed “a la facebook” means that Instagram, or rather it’s algorithm, will decide what to show you and when. Potentially omitting some content completely in favour of what it deems “more relevant ” content. Thus becoming more automated. Less human. For me that damages that sense of connection that IG currently has. And while IG insist it’s for our own benefit, I balk at the autocracy of a computer algorithim or corporate boardroom deciding that for me. I also strongly suspect that while IG doesn’t currently distinguish between commercial and personal accounts, it will eventually go down that road. And then what it decides to show us in our feeds will be based not on what it thinks we’re most interested in, but on who paid the most for advertising .
It’s naive I guess, to think that this was never going to happen to IG. Indeed in the long run it’s probably a fait accomplis. But, there may be a few things you can do in the short term to “stick it to the man”….
Sign the Petition
At the moment the petition to “keep instagram chronological” has approaching 300k signatures. To be honest, it seems a pretty poor showing when you consider that there are over 400 million active IG user accounts at the last tally. So you could say, what good will it do. Probably not alot. But registering your protest by signing the petition might make you feel a bit better, lol! And it’s still sticking it to the man. Even if it is only a tiny prick….
Switch off Auto Update Permissions
This to me seems the best option. In order for the changes to take effect tomorrow, your app will have to update. If you don’t allow the update permission, then nothing will change right? That’s the theory anyway. Afraid I only know the process for android. But the iphone process should be relatively similar. Here’s how:
Open up the Google Play App on your device. Click the dropdown menu top left of screen. (Below left). Scroll up or down to find and click on “My Apps & Games”. (Below right).
Then scroll to find and click on Instagram (below left). Once open click on the 3 dots in the top right of the window and uncheck the “auto update” box.
Now in theory, when IG rolls out this algorithm update, you’ve locked the door so to speak. So IG has to knock on the door and ask if it’s ok to deliver it’s algorithmic parcel into your house. No thank you Mr Delivery Man. I am not signing for that parcel thank you!
The likelihood is that IG will eventually get round this. But for now, it should provide a stay of execution. Who knows, in the meantime they may have a change of heart and provide us with an “opt out” clause. Here’s hoping.
Turn on Post Notifications
OK, so this one is doing the rounds. And it is what I initially posted on IG too. This one requires you to switch on post notifications for individual users who’s content you want to be sure of seeing. To turn on post notifications for an individual user click on the 3 dots as pictured below…
Then click to turn on post notifications. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for too many users. Basically your phone will buzz or ding every single time anyone posts. But if there’s content you absolutely don’t want to miss out on….it is an option.
Engage with Posts
Ultimately, once IG has closed all these little loopholes (they will eventually. Tis the nature of the beast!) and your feed is firmly in the grip of the algorithm, you’re going to need to tell it what you’re interested in seeing. The only way to do that is to show the content some love and engage with it by hitting like and/or commenting….
The algorithm is set to sort and filter what you get to see, based on the content you interact with. So hit like and comment on your favourite content, and show it some love, to ensure that it won’t disappear from your feed.
Please feel free to share this post as much as poss! If you want your IG audience to take these steps too, they need to do it in time; and the clock is ticking down fast….