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Instagram Begins Testing Feed Algorithm, Users Outraged

Users of the photo- and video-focused social media app are looking for ways to circumvent changes to their feed

Some Instagram users are starting to see an algorithm-based version of their feeds on the photo app, and it’s caused some chaos as users try to adapt. The social-media giant has begun testing its impending algorithm-ordered feed that prioritizes what it thinks “you will care about the most” based on a variety of factors.

A common sight Monday has been a parade of photos, like this one from Vine star Cameron Dallas, asking followers to turn on notifications in order to be sure they see their posts. Instagram has been absolutely flooded with these sorts of posts.

Turn my notifications ON & comment when you're done for a comment back or like ???? I will be doing this all day ????

A photo posted by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

The Facebook-owned app announced on its blog March 15 that it would soon begin rolling out a new version of the Instagram feed that prioritizes photo and video posts based on an algorithm rather than assembling posts from everyone you follow in chronological order.

Turning on notifications for a specific Instagram user will play a part in what Instagram’s algorithm believes you want to see most, but it also will make the app tell you every time the person in question makes a post. It’s not an ideal solution, and the constant stream of posts about turning on notifications is weirding out some folks.

Der sker alligevel aldrig noget sjovt på min profil. ???? Halv gas med de notifikationer ???? #rolig #randers #notifications

A photo posted by Nicolai Michaelsen (@nicolaimichaelsen) on

#instamood #notifications

A photo posted by Dan Harland (@harlandelrey) on

#notifications #instagram

A photo posted by Andrew Mccardell (@anaheimandrew) on

Instagram’s algorithm is following in the footsteps of Facebook, which has been using a similar formula to assemble feeds for several years. When Instagram announced the change on its blog it explained the algorithm like this: “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”

It needed to make the change, the blog said, because users miss on average 70 percent of all posts by people they follow.