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Instagram Will Start Reordering Feeds Based on Likelihood Algorithms Instead of Posting Time

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March 16
11:26 AM 2016

Instagram has decided to change its interface with an algorithm that will make it seem more similar to Facebook. Instead of showing posts in chronological order, Instagram will sort users' feed by showing moments the algorithm believes they will care about the most.

In the official announcement, Instagram posted that the change is made to improve user's experience. "The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we're focusing on optimizing the order - all the posts will still be there, just in different order," the social media wrote.

The personalized feed will prevent users from missing important posts they care about, buried within more recent posts. It was backed with data that people miss more than half of the posts in their feeds. "On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed. What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible," Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom told The New York Times.

With the change, Instagram will join other giant social media that applies such algorithms that will show posts based on likelihood personalized with each user. Facebook changed its news feed in 2009 to focus on showing popular posts among other indicators. Earlier this year, Twitter also embraced the change earlier this year, prioritizing algorithm-based posts rather than chronology. Twitter also made another notable change recently, showing older popular tweets to the top of users' feeds if the user had been away from the social media for a time.

As for now, the new algorithm is being tested. According to The Wall Street Journal, a small percentage of Instagram's 400 million users has already got their feeds reordered. The users in the test will not be able to opt out of the reordered feed, based on likes, comments, searches, and users' relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. Unlike Twitter, Instagram will not make the personalized feed optional.

However, the social media assure users that they are going to take time to get this right and listen to feedbacks along the way. For other users not in the test right now, the change could be experienced in the coming months, as announced by the company.

Instagram is embracing a new change in its feeds, making it more personalized, similar to the ones users would experience with Facebook or Twitter. The social media expects the new change will improve users experience, enabling them to catch up with the important posts that matter to them personally.

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