Sometimes, apps redesign their format in an attempt to make a more user-friendly version — and it can lead to mass chaos. Other times, it can occasionally lead to universal satisfaction, but it totally depends on the degree of change and what specific alterations were made. But after months of listening to users complain about the infamously terrible out-of-order algorithm, Instagram has taken problems into their own hands — and they've made some changes. Instagram's new algorithm for 2018 will make posts appear in users' feeds more chronologically, and TBH, I am beyond relieved.
Remember way back in early 2016 when Instagram first altered their algorithm? They did it in order to organize user feeds "based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” Yeah, I remember that too... and not to be dramatic, but it was one of the single worst changes that have happened in social media history. It was more upsetting than any Facebook update, and even far more jarring than even Snapchat's latest update. I missed out on way too many of my long distance BFF's college photos, as well as my mom's posts about our dogs — and when push came to shove, I just felt so out of touch. Until now, this was still a major flaw for the Instagram app, and I had personally gotten so sick of it.
But on Thursday, March 22, Instagram announced in a blog post that they would be introducing a couple of major changes. One of them specifically ensures that upon logging in, users are likely to see photos that were just posted. And upon hearing that announcement, I literally jumped for joy. From now on, I'll actually be up-to-date with what my friends and family are doing without coming in with the 200th like. No longer will I have to exclusively see posts that Instagram assumes I want to see. So thank. The. IG. Lord.
Instagram claimed that this new change was "based on user feedback," and in all honesty, all of that "feedback" probably came from me... admittedly, I complained about the algorithm about as much as a typical grandmother complains about technology. In the blog post announcing these fantastic changes, Instagram explained that the new algorithm will give users a "fresher feel," and that they will no longer have to miss out on any of the latest posts. I am like, the queen of FOMO, so this makes me incredibly happy.
In relation to the changes Instagram just made to the app, they explained in their blogpost:
With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.
In the same blog post, Instagram also revealed that starting March 22, they'll be testing a "New Posts" button. It will reportedly allow users to choose when they want to refresh their feed instead of having it refresh automatically. Sometimes, the automatic refresh feature leaves users feeling totally blindsided — which Instagram has seemingly come to recognize — so they will now be able to refresh on their own. Doing so sounds pretty easy, which can be done by simply tapping the button. The button will then take users to new posts at the top of the feed. Not tapping it will keep users wherever they are. It sounds pretty simple, but also pretty useful.
Saying goodbye to an old app format can be annoying, but if it's relating to the old algorithm on Instagram, I'll be welcoming the update with open arms. Missing out gets old, and I'm overjoyed that IG is finally recognizing the struggle.