Instagram users will now see posts created by people they don't follow as "recommended for you" posts.
These include showing videos, pictures that are liked by people the user follows, the Facebook-owned platform has revealed.
In effect, this means a user's Instagram "explore" tab will slowly be integrated into their personal feed.
The move allows Instagram to accommodate higher ad loads as demand increases. It's a strategy similar to Facebook - the more users spend time on the app and are exposed to more content, the more ads they'll see.
An Instagram spokesperson tells AdNews: "We're always looking for ways to connect you to new and interesting content on Instagram. Now, after you've viewed all new posts in your feed, we will suggest some additional posts you might like."
Instagram says it will show three to five 'Recommended Posts' and will not include ads "at this time".
The news was quietly announced through Instagram’s help centre, but not through its blog, which is usually where it distributes releases to press.
In the help centre post, Instagram said there is an option to "temporarily hide" the new feature.
Instagram says it's in the process of rolling it out globally, but didn't comment specifically on when it will reach Australia.
Instagram has reported tremendous growth since mirroring Snapchat's popular "stories" feature, which allows people to share videos, pictures that delete after 24 hours. The platform has about 800 million users, more than twice as many as it had in 2015.
At the beginning of 2017, it introduced paid ads to the Stories features, which has been steadily attracting big brands, such as Qantas and Airbnb.
Like the backlash Instagram received when it moved from a chronological feed to an algorithmic-based feed, users have been unimpressed with the move to recommended posts:
Dear @instagram ,— Derrick Malone Jr. (@PoeticSoul__) January 9, 2018
I do not want to see people on my timeline that I don’t follow. Change this immediately. Please and thank you.
I hate this ‘recommend for you’ on Instagram, I don’t wanna see people I don’t follow like I’d rather not thanks???— katie (@lakatiexo) January 8, 2018
I fucking hate the ‘recommended for you’ thing on instagram. I don’t want to see people I don’t follow!??!— haruka suzuki (@hxrukaa) January 4, 2018
Instagram needs to stop with the “suggestions for you” ion like none of these people 😭 hence why I don’t follow them— Fifi Anicah (@FifiAnicah) January 8, 2018
Why do I still have this app? They clearly don’t care about ANYTHING consumers care about https://t.co/08N4wpgcNz— Ash Money Records™️ (@LightsPlease___) January 7, 2018
Users: bring back chronological ordering of posts— Strelok (@AdrianSurname) January 8, 2018
Instagram: algorithms! you like them?
users: no, just the chronological ordering of posts
Instagram: ok, got it, we'll show you ads
users: no, we just wa....
Instagram: posts of people you don't follow? done
It’s worth noting that almost anytime social media companies introduce an update, users are quick to criticise.
AdNews has reached out to Instagram about users' concerns.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org