How do you like to get your mobile content? Are you of the “give it all, moar, moar, moar” variety, or do you prefer a more curated “show me the highlights” approach? A growing number of popular social platforms have been turning to the latter approach, and earlier this year we saw Twitter move past its existing chronologically sorted feed to begin giving users the option to see the “best” tweets from accounts they follow first. Now Instagram is getting in on the same action, announcing its own “optimized” feed experience.
Instagram’s logic is much the same as Twitter’s: users tend to follow a lot of accounts these days, and there’s just so much content out there that it can be difficult to view it all – so why risk missing out on the good stuff? If the service can identify the posts you’re most likely to enjoy, and preferentially show them to you, that should be a good thing, right?
Well, for some users, sure, but like we said – there are always going to be those people who want an unfiltered stream of all the content they choose.
What’s unclear at the moment is if Instagram intends to give users the same sort of opt-out option that Twitter did – for now, all the company is saying is that it’s “going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way.”
And while Instagram clarifies that it initially intends to only play with the order of posts, and that you’ll still see all of them, its language seems to suggest that it’s already thinking about doing something different in the long term, and these “optimized” feeds may simply stop displaying less popular content at some point in the future. For now, that fear may be getting ahead of ourselves, but we’ll still be keeping a close eye on how Instagram implements these changes.