If you’ve spent any time on Instagram over the last couple of days, chances are 90 per cent of your feed was made up of posts begging you to “turn on post notifications.”
From influencers in fitness, fashion and food, to celebrities and even that friend-of-a-friend you started following on a whim, the entire Instagram community seemed to be up in arms over the platform’s impending feed change.
So what is all the fuss about?
On March 15, Instagram announced it was moving towards an algorithm-based feed. That means instead of showing you posts in chronological order, the app will give higher priority to posts that it predicts you are more likely to care about most.
Cue user outrage.
Although Instagram noted the changes would be rolled out “in the coming months,” it seems the Instagram community assumed the changes were imminent. This sparked on onslaught of posts from users begging their followers to turn on notifications for their posts, all in an effort not to lose any likes.
Of course, all of that begging led to a backlash from many users.
The ordeal has been nicknamed “The thirst crisis,” by Verge reporter Casey Newton who wrote, “The fear, which may be more acute for anyone paid to promote products in their Instagram posts, is that the new algorithm may favor everyone else over you, relegating your shirtless mirror selfies to the bottom of the pile.”
But on Monday, Instagram responded to the growing outrage, assuring users that the changes are not imminent and that users will be notified before anything changes.
“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,” the company said in a tweet.
Keep calm and like on
All of this panic over the changes coming to Instagram is much ado about nothing if you take the time to understand how the algorithm will work.
According to Instagram, “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.”
In other words, you will see posts from users who you frequently engage with first.
So, if you want to make sure you still see content from a particular user make sure you often like and comment on their posts.
You can turn on post notifications for users who don’t post as often, but you should know turning on post notifications for Instagram sends you a push notification every time a picture is posted.
Imagine doing this for 10 or more accounts – talk about notification overload.