We all knew it was inevitable once Facebook acquired Instagram: feed filtering for users and “pay to be seen” for marketers. To date, Instagram has behaved much more like Twitter’s constant stream of though – showing users the most recent posts from the accounts they follow. That ends soon.
Instagram announced on their blog yesterday that this new roll out is coming soon (no specific date – these things usually happen in waves), as a result of users missing “on average 70%” of their feeds”. They promise to listen to feedback and adjust. (We’ll see…)
The Raleighwood Take
I’m not opposed to change, but I don’t like having to change the way I use a product that I’m happy with. While Facebook does have a “most recent first” version of its feed, I always have to change back to that view (it doesn’t stay as my default view) and I find most users don’t even know it exists. I would love to see Instagram give the power to the people and let users make a single adjustment in their own settings: filtered feed or “most recent first”.
I don’t care how much I’ve missed on IG. If I did, I’d follow less accounts and wouldn’t follow accounts that post super frequently. I also have little confidence that Instagram knows what content will be most important to me. Most of the content in my Facebook feed includes engagements and babies, which is great, but not really the most important thing going in my social world.
What I’d really love to see Instagram spend their time on is combating spam more aggressively. (Now that they’ve rolled out a feature to easily switch between accounts within the app. Two thumbs way up on that overdue feature, IG!)
A lot of great brands are having a hayday of success with Instagram right now, enjoying large follower counts and high engagement with content. You can expect that Instagram will soon be following the Facebook model of pay-to-play, where your content will likely not be surfaced unless you’re paying Instagram (owned by Facebook) for the privilege. Sorry y’all, the free lunch is over!