Instagram Tackles Misconceptions About Its Content Feeding

After switching from a chronological feed to an algorithmic order, Instagram was met with a lot of confusion and misconceptions from users, so the social networking company took to its blog to clear the air and shed more light on the matter.

Drawn up by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, the blog post begins by explaining that there isn’t just one algorithm, but a series of algorithms, classifiers and processes dedicated to a particular purpose of ranking content, tailored to how a specific person uses the app.

For the Feed, Explore and Reels, these areas all differ depending on how a user navigates and interacts with content. In terms of the Feed and Stories queue, the app puts up photos and videos of the people to who a user is closest and at the same time taking into consideration certain types of signals. The popularity of a post, the relevance of who posted it, what time the post was shared, and whether the person is using a phone or computer to like these types of posts, all impact a personal feed.

Explore is where recommendations are formulated in order for new discoveries. The app looks at signals such as the type of posts a user interacted with. From there it arranges them by how interested they might be on the basis of actions such as likes, saves and shares.

Similar to Explore, Reels is based on accounts a user doesn’t follow, but with a goal to entertain. The signals follow the same as Explore in terms of what a user might like then sorted into how interesting they might be. Predictions are also made based on how likely a user would watch the entire reel from end to end.

Instagram also dabbled on the accusation of shadowbanning — silencing or used to describe different experiences such as the app taking down content, recommendations and why people are getting fewer likes or comments. The company clarified that most followers don’t even look at most of their Feed and how its team is working on ways to be more transparent about these matters as well as fixing any issues efficiently.

To gain more control over your Instagram account, you can select your close friends for Stories, which will prioritize content from these people. You may also mute or unfollow an account if you wouldn’t like to see their posts or click the “Not Interested” option.

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