Instagram is changing its Algorithm to Improve the Instagram Feed

Image sourced from Mashable

Image sourced from Mashable

For years, Instagram has tweaked its algorithm to show users posts they might like, regardless if they're freshly uploaded ones or not.

Instagram is changing its algorithm.

They will be testing out a "New Posts" button that will allow you the freedom to choose whether to refresh your feed or to continue browsing from where you left off, for those times when you had to leave the app to do something else on another app.

Instagram switched to a relevancy-sorted feed in June 2016 that led to many Instagram users speaking about returning to the old feed and complaining that the algorithm often shows photographs and posts that are days old.

The other change is a slightly more chronological timeline. There is some issue with some of the posts and videos keep on appearing in users Instagram feed for days and days.

According to Instagram spokesman Gabe Madway said that "we did this via a number of changes, including an adjustment so that very old content does not bump up higher in the feed". As Instagram said (apparently addressing users in the Western Hemisphere): "If your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up".

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"With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won't miss the moments you care about", writes the company in a blog post.

People were also not keen on the sudden bumps pulling users to the top of the feed while scrolling, and professional marketers and content specialists noted negative business repercussions due to the changes.

When Instagram launched, its newsfeed was set up in a way that users saw whatever was posted the latest - meaning feeds were chronological in order. Mr. Madway said that Instagram feed ranking works by machine learning and it is constantly adapting and improving itself on new data. "But this is a nice change that people should notice". Users can now manually refresh whenever they want without the app doing it for them.

Pew Research Center reported this month that Instagram use is higher than that of Twitter, Snapchat and WhatsApp, at least in terms of the percentage of Americans who say they use it.

Jacey Fortin is a New York Times writer.

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