Instagram is testing a new feature and people hate it

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 10 January 2018

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:

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.

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