Instagram has not only added 60 second videos to their feeds and view counts to promote a more aggressive approach to the mobile video movement that Facebook started, but now has also gone the ways of their Facebook overlords to implement a *gasp* algorithm! On top of all that, you might have seen a lot of “Turn me on for Instagram notifications” posts in the last 48 hours, and that is the same sort of people who went to beg people to turn on notifications for their business’s pages on Facebook about a year or so ago.
But what is really going on here?
Instagram is avoiding the same problem that Facebook almost hit, and the same problem Twitter is now trying to fix (which might be too late, but we will see). We as social media users are pumping out more and more content each and every day, and there is so much content being pushed out that we as consumers don’t even pay attention as much anymore. We just keep on scrolling.
Twitter currently is toying with possible algorithms and other new features like events and user specific notifications, and honestly people are being too skeptical. While the popularity and importance of Twitter as a platform can be discussed in a whole different blog post, the fact of the matter is that information saturation is a real problem we face, and it is time to streamline what we want.
How Facebook does it… (In simple terms)
Facebook saw the writing on the wall early, and uses an algorithm that places what it believes is most important to you at the top of your feed. They take in information such as your searches, who you talk to the most, what sorts of posts you like/comment/share, and what pages you like. All this information is used to provide you with the most valuable posts possible.
Think about it, if you were to see every post from every friend and page you like on Facebook you would never use the site. You’d be bombarded with Uncle Fred’s political rants, Aunt Sue’s knitting fetish, and tons of crappy “BUY NOW! 10% off ads” from pages who don’t know how to make a proper ad… And at the end of the day Facebook is in business to make money off of ad sales. If you as a user were to leave because you didn’t see any value in returning to the website, they are out of business, and no more Facebook.
So Instagram is doing this for you!
Don’t freak out here. All you will see is more things that you actually want to see at the top of your feeds, and the rest of it near the bottom. No need to freak out and set notifications for all your friends when they post their next Starbucks selfie.
If anything this promotes people to put more thought and effort into their photos and videos. Maybe we will start to see more natural beauty and less sushi pics, more street art and less duck faces, more real people and less latte art. Instagram knows that if they didn’t do something soon, they would be in the same position Twitter is in trying to fight for users to stay, and I can promise you this is for the greater good for all of us.
TL;DR: Watch this video from a good friend of mine Erik Zachary
For those who don’t have the time to deal with my lackluster writing, or would rather watch a video check this out: