As I am sure you already know, Instagram has decided to change their platform and use an algorithm to determine what you see in your feed instead of simply displaying posts from the people you follow in reverse chronological order. And, if you were alive yesterday, you probably witnessed the Insta-wide freakout over this.
My feed was spammed by posts pleading with followers to “turn on your notifications, so you can see my future posts.” I have to be honest, seeing 30 consecutive insta-pleads felt… well, really desperate and not very genuine. By the end of the day I was so tired of those arrows!
I get it. Change sucks, especially when something everyone is profiting from (or seeing results from) changes. But let’s all take a second, inhale deeply, and really think about this for a moment. I think yesterday’s reaction was a bit of an overkill.
First, I am not going to turn on my notifications. And I would advise you not to do so. Receiving hundreds of notifications a day is not only annoying, but also drains your battery! Second, even if you do want the notifications, this isn’t going to solve the problem. Notifications don’t ensure those particular posts will show up in your feed. The algorithm will prioritize the people and feeds you interact with the most, not who you turn on notifications for. So, as long as you are viewing, liking, and/or commenting on your favorite accounts, you will still see them. Furthermore, there are plenty of accounts whose posts I miss. Guess what I do? I search their name and take a look if I am curious about what they have been up to (this happens a lot for the accounts I follow in Europe/Italy).
Finally, we are all assuming this is a bad thing. Why? I have to admit, Pinterest’s algorithm actually helped me. It continues to expose my pins to non-followers (exponentially, I might add) and drives a ton of traffic to my blog. Who is to say the same won’t be true for the new Instagram? At this point, only time will tell.
Despite yesterday’s scare that today is the day, Instagram has actually been rolling out this algorithm and testing it for a while now. In fact, when I think back on my own feed over the past six months, something has seemed off. My likes peaked in the summer, but despite growing followers throughout the fall and winter, my overall likes per photo have gone down. Perhaps less people are seeing my posts because of these changes? Even if my suspicion is true, I have lived with it for six months (or more) now and it hasn’t adversely affected my Instagram or it’s growth.
Basically the point of all of this is to say don’t stress! I love Instagram for its artistry, and no algorithm can change that. We all get so caught up in number of likes and followers, but numbers shouldn’t validate us. Just keep ‘gramming!
And be sure to turn on notifications for me if you want to see my posts… just kidding!