Instagram tests new algorithm to change chronological order of feeds

16 Mar 2016

Instagram is testing a new algorithm that will replace the chronological order with a new system to ensure users don't miss important photos and videos

Popular photo-sharing app Instagram is testing a new algorithm that lets users see posts based on their interests and friends rather than in the traditional chronological order.

Instagram, which has more than 400m users and was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1bn, vies with Snapchat as the social network of choice for teens and is well ahead of Twitter, which is floundering somewhat at 320m users.

The photo-based social media site is overhauling its feed with a new personalised algorithm that surfaces content based on relevance to users themselves based on interests and connections rather than the boring old chronological order.

It said that, as Instagram has grown, on average, people miss 70pc of content in their feeds, missing out on most of the photos and videos people share.

New feed order

To change this, a new algorithm is being introduced.

“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 optimising the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.

“If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.

“We’re going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way. You’ll see this new experience in the coming months,” Instagram said in its blog.

Instagram image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years