“The app is useless and a waste of time,” they said.
Henderson is one of many Instagram users who are frustrated with what they see as the platform continues to shift from friends and photo sharing, to video and algorithm-promoted content. Fans and critics have said that Instagram has changed a lot recently to compete with Meta and the Chinese giant TikTok, which shows most of the content from newcomers. Last summer, Instagram started adding slots for “recommended” videos — from accounts you don’t follow — in your feed. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Instagram account in June that the app will begin testing a full-screen feed like TikTok.
I gave Instagram photos of my baby. The fear of Instagram is back.
More opportunities for sponsored posts and “reels” – Instagram’s version of TikTok’s video product – will provide more revenue opportunities for creators and Instagram. But the increase in the number of posts and recommended posts is not a sad change for some of the billions of users of the app: Instagram content, according to Tiffany Jiang, 26- years-old, “trashier” than before.
For example, he sees many short video reels that appear to be designed to promote the reels’ own products, with producers hiding and uncovering their faces to show the effect of a facial filter. Jiang said he was impatient and wanted to wait for the show.
“It’s like that random scrolling on the side of the web,” said the Brooklyn-based product designer, who interned at Instagram-owner Meta (owned by Facebook) early in his career.
Last year, Instagram began “paying influencers based on the views of their featured reels,” a spokesperson said.
The updates of the app almost always enrich the users. But Instagram’s experiments like its new screen-test feed — which Jiang says is similar to TikTok’s video feed and doesn’t benefit from TikTok’s on-the-nose personalization algorithm — are so aggressive, that he said. It’s hard for him to tell which posts are ads, he says, and his recommendations sometimes include posts from people who are under the age of 13 on Instagram. Instagram is less like a place to share photos and videos and more. a chaotic “hub” for Meta to “build connections with tokens,” Jiang said.
Another surprising 75 percent of Instagram feeds contain content you don’t want to see
— zach fruit (@zacharyfruit) July 5, 2022
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“There is no denying that we are in a competitive environment, and this is what motivates us to continue exploring ways to better serve our Instagram community,” says Tessa Lyons -Laing, director of product management at Meta, in a statement sent to the Washington Post. “Instagram is where your friends and interests meet – you connect with your friends for fun, original content and explore your interests together.”
Lyons-Laing also said that users can “snooze” recommended content (we’ll show you how below) and the company has plans for more controls down the road. Meanwhile, he said some people see more evidence than others based on the company’s tests.
When asked whether the company has any metrics that support the idea that users like to see what’s acceptable, Lyons-Laing said: “We’ve heard from research that people like the ideas because it helps them find new accounts to follow and explore their interests.” He declined to share specific numbers or metrics.
According to Kyle Vondra, a software engineer in Sunnyvale, Calif., the app looks like a magazine — “mostly ads and some occasional information.”
Remember: There are a few things you can do if you’re having trouble with your Instagram feed.
Instagram lets you take a break from seeing posts from people you don’t know – but only for 30 days at a time.
To snooze selected posts, find one in your feed and click the three dots in the top right corner. Then choose “don’t care.” Instagram will hide the ad and give you a list of options. Click on “Sleep all ads that are intended to feed for 30 days.”
When the ads start after a month, you can try again.
If your Browse tab (the tab with the magnifying glass) is messed up, you can tweak its algorithm in the right direction.
Find a section you can’t see and click the three circles in the top right corner. Choose “ignore,” and Instagram will hide the post and show you fewer posts like it.
Switch to your “favorites” or “follows” feeds.
“Features” will show you posts from accounts you’ve added to your favorites list. “Following” displays content from people you follow in the order they were posted. To switch to one of these feed types, tap the Instagram icon in the top left corner of the home tab.
(You can create your list of favorite accounts by clicking “favorites” -> “add favorites.” The app will populate a list of people you like . My husband, best friend, father and colleagues showed up. Click “fix favorites” to run with that list, to add and remove people using the “remove” buttons and dating site.)
If you access Instagram from your web browser, you won’t see ads or opinionated posts – just a bunch of photos from your roommate’s sister’s wedding reception.
Henderson, Jiang and Vondra said they spend less time on Instagram now. You can also stop – if you are willing to leave your links on Instagram.
“It was like a part of us was like, ‘We’re not going to give up Facebook,'” Jiang said. “And now we don’t use it anymore.”