If you scrolled thru Instagram on Sunday March 27th, 2016 then you saw a flurry of social media influencers posting these “Turn on Notification’s” signs on their pages, begging their followers to follow the instructions due to the fear of the unknown algorithm change that was about to affect their precious Instagram feed…
Years ago, Facebook (the parent company of Instagram) changed their algorithm to display what they feel is relevant content based on what users “like” & “comment” on, instead of showing them the posts in chronological order as they’re posted in real time.
What they didn’t take into consideration, just like Twitter’s recent algorithm change, and Instagram’s newest change is that:
THE ONLY IMPORTANT ALL-TELLING ALGORITHM OF WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE IS THE FREAKING “FOLLOW” BUTTON!!!
You’re not forced to follow anyone on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. They have suggestions, but you don’t have to follow anyone you don’t want to! So that’s that. If you care about seeing what someone posts, you follow them, simple as that. If you don’t like their posts, then you click unfollow and life moves on.
Now let’s take it a step further:
If you’re only following an account for political reasons, like being polite because you have to, then Twitter has a “MUTE” button where you can still technically follow them, but not see their Tweets. Facebook has a similar function where you can stay “friends” with someone, but not see their posts in your news feed.
So why does this whole thing make me and so many others angry? Over 100,000 people signed the petition for instagram to not change their chronological news feed within days of the announcement. Click this link to sign the petition yourself.
It bothers me because I, Dan Fleyshman, live & breathe social media. My 1stSlice news site has had over 280,000,000 page views in under a year and my partner Branden Hampton (Who FORBES rated his @Notebook account the #1 most engaged on Twitter) & I have both negotiated millions of dollars in ad revenue for social media influencers ranging from fitness & beauty models to household name celebrities over the years.
Here’s another major thing that the very well funded, Ivy League graduates, who are clearly smart & technologically amazing at building huge scale platforms are clearly not taking into account:
There’s a ton of posts that I’m not gonna “like”, “Retweet” or “comment” on for lots of reasons, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wanna see them any less!!!
There’s posts from girls that I’m never going to like or comment on because I don’t want my girlfriend to get upset by seeing it in her News Feed, or I don’t want that same girl’s boyfriend to read into my social media interaction with her post as anything suspicious or creepy. (There’s been countless fights & breakups over this very thing.)
Under the same notion I follow a buff male fitness model and a funny puppy account and I just don’t want the social media engagement to end up in my news feed for my followers to take notice, however I still want to see his workout tips and I still want to laugh at the cute puppy videos without an algorithm showing me what it thinks I want to see.
Just because I never like or share a Food Recipe’s account video, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see it and it definitely doesn’t mean that some magical algorithm knows what I want to see, since myself & 100’s of millions of other users don’t give the platforms the data they think they have.
Many high school kids aren’t going to engage on social media during school hours in fear of leaving a trail that could get them in trouble.
Same goes for employees in the work force that scroll thru social media for hours on end, but never engage with the content to be safe from detection.
Kylie Jenner jumped in on the action to put in her two cents about the algorithm change while instructing her fans to turn on post notifications to her Instagram page.
Moral of the Story: For being so smart, these algorithms are really stupid for being imposed onto users that make the daily choice in whom they want to follow.
The social media algorithms are built with a great deal of misinformation and disregard for the human element behind each screen name. That being said; Dear Instagram, please keep my feed chronological and let me continue to choose what I know I want to see.