Instagram today announced that it will introduce a new algorithm-based feed in the coming months, shifting from its current chronological-based feed. The move follows Twitter's announcement that it was moving to an algorithm-based feed. Instagram parent company Facebook has used an algorithm-based news feed for years.
You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.
The photo sharing company says that the new feed will be re-ordered to show moments Instagram believes users will care about the most. The algorithm will largely be based on a user's relationship to the person posting and the timeliness of their post. For instance, Instagram says if a user's favorite musician posts a video from the previous night's concert or a best friend posts a picture of a puppy, the new algorithm will ensure that the user does not miss it.
Instagram stresses that, as they begin on this process, the company only wants to optimize the order of posts. All the posts in a person's news feed will still be there, but in a different order. While it's unclear exactly when in the coming months users' feeds will begin to change, the company says that it wants to take its time to "get this right" and that they'll listen to user feedback along the way. Instagram did not mention whether the new feed will be an optional feature that allows users to opt out.