Instagram has recently announced that it will be trialing changes in the way it displays posts -- to the dismay of many of its users.
The free social network announced earlier this month that it will no longer display photos in chronological order but in order of importance, through an algorithm similar to that used by Facebook.
“You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds,” explained a network blog post.
“To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you care about the most.”
The algorithm will optimise the order of appearing photos and videos based on a user's interests, their relationship with the poster and the timeliness of the post.
“If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in.”
The change is currently in a ‘testing period’ to be unveiled in the coming months, and to many users it will signal a minor shift. All posts will still be displayed, just in a different order.
For those who rely on the network, the update is set to prove more drastic. A change.org petition arguing the case of small businesses -- who use the network to leverage their audience and product markups -- currently has over 315,000 signatures:
“Is this something that the community really wants? After what happened when Facebook switched to algorithm-based feeds, it’s certainly not something that small business will want!”
Overnight, social media feared an impending switch to the new feed. A wave of celebs and prominent Instagrammers urged their audiences to ‘turn on notifications’ in an attempt to keep their accounts from disappearing into the network's looming abyss.
Others were more entertained by the backlash.
Everyone is freaking out about notifications on Instagram. Are we all gonna be okay?— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) March 28, 2016
Pls turn off notifications for everything and go outside for 10 mins— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) March 28, 2016
me when someone i follow posts the "turn on my push notifications" meme: pic.twitter.com/7snvOS16US— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) March 28, 2016
I'd let a family member get swallowed by a dragon before I'd allow Instagram push notifications to come to my phone— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) March 28, 2016
In lieu of the madness, Instagram appears to be listening.
We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016
The network also appears to be testing a new search bar that will allow users to search a person's followers along with a list of who they are following.
This joins the wave of new features that are being introduced by Instagram, including the addition of date stamps to app posts and an Explore page on its website.