Instagram, an app that originally started off as a photo-sharing social media platform has quickly evolved into a massive business platform. Instagram’s business relies heavily on people spending time on the app and towards that end, Facebook is making some changes to the Instagram feed. Users will now be shown suggested posts from accounts they don’t follow in their main feed. This would be the third major change introduced to the Feed, after Instagram decided to stop serving up posts in a chronological order, followed by inserting ads.
The change is to your main feed, where once you’ve reached the point where Instagram throws up the “you’re all caught up” message. At this point you would have normally scrolled into the older posts, but here, Instagram will now insert “Suggested Posts” from accounts you don’t follow, but Instagram feels you might be interested in. You can still see the older posts by clicking a button that would be made available. With this change, Instagram and by extension Facebook will make the Feed even more impersonal.
Instagram’s growing popularity saw the Social Media giant (Facebook) quickly buy it out, turning a photo-sharing service into a business platform. In 2019, Facebook reports $20 billion in revenue from Instagram, an amount generated by inserting ads and sponsored content between posts on the feed, in between stories and also in the Explore tab. However, not a lot of people end up spending time in the Explore tab, the dedicated area of the app where Instagram’s algorithm serves up accounts that you may like. Hence, bits of the Explore tab are now coming to your main feed.
The move here is to keep people within the application and keep them scrolling. This is very similar to how TikTok operated its feed, serving up content that would be of potential interest to the user. Another feature that the platform introduced recently to counter TikTok is Reels. The biggest change to Instagram’s feed came years ago when the company decided to serve up content in a non-chronological order, based on an algorithm. The move caused major uproar, but the people eventually got used to it, accepting the fact that Instagram’s feed was going to be less impactful without the sense of time associated with it. Now, the company is inserting posts from accounts people don’t follow into a place that was reserved for followed accounts. The change should start reflecting in your feed at any point, given the arbitrary nature in which these sorts of changes are rolled out. Instagram allegedly started hiding likes on posts for the sake of “digital wellbeing,” but that hasn’t rolled out uniformly across the platform either.