Instagram announced the news a few months ago: feeds won’t be chronological anymore. It means that some unknown, opaque algorithm build to maximise advertising revenues will choose the pictures order on our feeds.
But… I’ve spent a lot of time to curate mine. Like, a lot. I consciously decided not to follow too many accounts. When I want to follow a new one, I always carefully weight the pros and cons. I want to avoid any overload. Precisely to be sure I won’t miss any post. And until yesterday, I managed to do so.
But yesterday, I had the awful surprise to discover my account has been migrated to the new feed. And it’s now an absolute mess.
Before the change, I was able to see all the content posted by the people I follow (I check the app quite regularly, like every 2-3 hours). Now, I miss so many of it… All this curating work, gone. It’s even more awful as Instagram claimed the goal of this new feed was precisely to “See the Moments You Care About First”–L.O.L. Total opposite for me. Thank you so much Instagram.
I understand that for the average user the new feed may actually raise engagement. But what about some niche users like me, who are always sacrificed by this kind of decision (Twitter tried to do the same a few months ago too…)?
I have no intrinsic reason to use Instagram. To me, it’s a tool to help me engage with interesting people and discover wonderful pictures. But you know what? Snapchat, flickr, Twitter and others can also do that. So why would I stick with Instagram when I can retrieve elsewhere what was taken away from me?
This very negative experience also raises the question of trust: many of us use “free” tools like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram on a daily basis. We spend a lot of time on these apps, but as we are not direct paying customers we have almost no words on their decisions. And for all of the cited above, they are in dominant positions in their market. It means that they can “betray” us with almost no consequences. I’m not sure if I like that…
My use of Facebook already declined (and it’s likely gonna to decline even more in the next months), Instagram is now about to get completely kicked off my life… (in less than two days my interest to launch the app already hugely dropped) And I will now consider very carefully to heavily invest in a platform where my views as a customer don’t really matter.
At the end, the worst part of this story is that Instagram could have avoided this disaster very easily, just by allowing its users to opt-out for the new feed (like Twitter did). But they didn’t. It can mean two things: either they don’t give a shit about users like me (so I’ll leave their platform with no regrets), either they didn’t anticipated enough the mess–which would be just sad as it was so obvious, and thus so easy to anticipate.
There’s a petition already signed by more than 340,000 people. I signed it too. But even if Instagram listen, I’m not sure it’ll be enough; I fear it could be too late for me. We’ll see.