For Instagram to stop controlling timeline results in less interaction with our audience

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Is your Instagram feed still ordered oldest-to-newest? Then treasure your straightforward user experience because it is not going to last.

Controversial changes to the photo-sharing platform that were met with widespread outcry when they were first flagged in March are taking effect, with users around the world reporting a new algorithm-driven feed.

Instagram update: keep calm and don't turn on notifications
What this means is posts appear not in the sequence they were posted by people you follow from oldest to newest, but in one of Instagram’s own devising. And Instagram – owned by Facebook – works in mysterious ways.

Instagram first announced the impending change in mid-March, saying that the average Instagram user (“you may be surprised to learn”) missed 70% of their feed.

An algorithm-driven feed, “ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most”, would be introduced “in the coming months” to rectify this.

In the overly-familiar tone beloved by Silicon Valley, Instagram vowed that the change would ensure the best, most meaningful content would “be waiting for you when you wake up”.

Despite the platform’s best intentions, the announcement sparked considerable – if slightly delayed – panic on two weeks later when tens of thousands of users, concerned that their content might not be that which their followers would “care about the most”, urged them to “turn on notifications”.

Some, such as the British singer Ellie Goulding, had considerable influence on the platform, forcing commentators to point out that turning on push notifications for individual Instagram users was a terrible idea and to call for everyone to please just calm down.

Instagram unveils new logo, but it's not quite picture perfect
The furore over the #InstagramChanges passed as the platform went days, then weeks, then months without making a change to the time-honoured – literally – chronological format – though its new logo and in-app look suggested nothing good (or at least functional) could stay.

But users are now starting to report that they are seeing the new feed and, as tends to be the case with technological change, many don’t like it.

“I noticed because NOBODY likes my stuff any more,” said another. “I’m sure it’s not just me.” @KingRoctoba

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