It’s official: Instagram will be bringing suggested posts to its widely-used mobile app. The feature will transform the manner in which feeds function – adding posts from accounts that users do not follow, instead of prompting them with a “you’re all caught up” message once all new content from followed accounts has been viewed. While the change may seem subtle, it could dramatically alter the way in which the app is used. Essentially, it could keep individuals on their devices for longer periods of time while they remain in an endless stream of content curated for their tastes based on data-mined in-app behavior. The change makes the app somewhat similar to its competitor, Tiktok.
Up until this point, with the exception of occasional sponsored posts, Instagram feeds have been crafted by individual user preference. Users controlled who they followed, and the algorithm would dictate the order in which content appears based on how often users decide to interact with it.
Instagram’s Help Centre has posted messaging about the change – explaining that suggested posts will only appear after users have scrolled through everything posted by the accounts they follow. The explanation also provides detail on how these suggestions are gathered to provide content that aligns with the photos, videos, and stories that users like, comment on, or save the most.
Previous Efforts By Instagram:
It sounds quite similar to the “Explore” tab that Instagram added a few years ago, but the new concept is much more streamlined. The new suggested posts feature elects to showcase posts that closely resemble those of the accounts that users follow, instead of creating a vast assortment of content that matches what users search for. The purpose of the Explore tab is quite broad in comparison; still pointing people to content they’re interested in, but branching off into more adjacent posts as users continue to delve deeper.
Instagram higher-ups describe the homepage suggested posts revision as something meant to make it much easier for people on the app to continue seeing relevant content, even when their followed accounts aren’t producing anything new.
At the moment, suggested posts only showcase videos and photos – so users shouldn’t anticipate seeing any IGTV snippets at the following the conclusion of their homepage feed. However, they can still expect to see sponsored ads in this area.
It’s an interesting contrast to Instagram’s efforts two years ago – when the Facebook-owned social network was promoting the use of its “Your Activity” tool, which allowed individuals to track their time using the app and set personal reminder notifications telling them when to take a break. The aforementioned “you’re all caught up” feature was also brought in as part of this initiative in 2018.
How To Stop Seeing Suggested Posts:
Instagram product lead Julian Gutman denied that the suggested post changes were designed to keep users stuck in the app, though. There are still ways to address this change. Users can let the app know that they do not want to see suggested posts by clicking the menu button above these pictures and/or videos, and then clicking “Not interested”. The app will then store this information and adjust homepage feed accordingly. Users are not able to remove suggested posts altogether, but they will be able to regulate which ones they see.