Instagram announced a couple of weeks ago that they will start rolling out a new feed that ditches chronological order in favour of a feed similar to Facebook that's based on what they think you'll like. To correct for this, you might have noticed some pleas from users to turn on notifications. Here's what that's all about. If you've looked at Instagram today, you've probably seen posts like the ones above asking you to turn on notifications. The reason is simple: people are worried that the new algorithm that decides the order of photos in your feed will bury their content and you'll never see it. This new Instagram feed will supposedly work just like Facebook, where instead of photos being ordered by time and date, photos will be ordered by an algorithm that reorganises your feed based on how you use Instagram. All the photos will still be there, they will just be in a different order.
The supposed solution to this imaginary problem is to turn on post notifications so you get an alert every time a user you like posts something. That's the plea you've been seeing all over Instagram this morning. This is a terrible solution that's sure to bog down your notifications, but if you want to do that, it's easy:
- Tap the "..." icon in the top right of a post.
- Tap "Turn on Post Notifications."
That's it. Now, you'll be inundated with notifications every time that user posts a photo.
However, though the notification meme going around today suggests that the new timeline starts tomorrow, that's completely wrong. Instagram took to Twitter today to clear that up:
We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.
— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016
So, nothing is changing right now, but it's coming someday, so brace for it. Here's the thing; as NYMag points out, this isn't really a big deal for most of us. This is most likely only going to affect brands or people with non-personal feeds. If you're only following some friends and not thousands of brands, the change will likely be pretty subtle.
Perhaps most importantly though, it's good to remember that algorithms are based on your behaviour. If you want to always see someone's posts, make sure you like or comment on their photos.