Why Half Of Your Instagram Feed Is Not People You Follow


Instagram is supposed to be simple. You follow friends and folks you’re interested in, and the feed shows their new content. But what if that’s actually not how it worked at all? Anyone who’s spent too much time on the app has surely noticed more and more suggested posts and fewer from folks they actively follow. Here’s why.

The New Instagram Feed

Last month, Meta rolled out one of its million updates for Instagram, but this one rattled folks. It seemingly brought posts from the suggested tab onto the main feed. To make matters worse, there’s nothing you can do about it. The change was noticed immediately by Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

The new feed is all part of new standards and practices. The bulk of the feed is now recommended rather than what’s actually been followed, so everything feels like the explore page. The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, posted a video on Twitter recently where he outlined why the change was made.

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Mosseri explained, “We’re moving Instagram to a place where video is a bigger part of the home experience, where the content is more immersive.” Leaning more on recommendations ensures that content taking up the whole screen will be shown. Ironically, Mosseri cites how this will give folks more control, yet there’s no way to turn the feature off.

Mosseri insists this is only a test. Perhaps the widespread negative press will force Meta to revert its page, but that feels rather unlikely. The Facebook feed has transformed the same way: once only liked pages and friends to a drip feed of screaming and advertisements.

The Temptation Of Cynicism

Everything on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and any other social media platform imaginable is designed to keep you on the app. They’re designed to be addictive, and it’s not hard to imagine how the new recommended page feeds into that.

A pessimist would say for all the folks who only used Instagram to see what friends are up to, that world is gone now. Instead, they’re forced to see loads of content the algorithm thinks will keep them on the app.

An Interesting Loophole

If you yearn for the days of an Instagram from March, there is one easy way to get back to the way things were. The desktop version of the platform has not been updated to clog the main feed with suggested content. Well, not yet at least.

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