Instagram’s main feed will now show posts from people you don’t follow, after you’re caught up with content from the people you do follow.
A new section of “Suggested Posts” is appearing in users’ main feeds immediately after the “You’re All Caught Up” screen.
Displaying organic content in users’ feeds from accounts they don’t follow is a first for Instagram.
Traditionally the main feed of Instagram has been reserved for content that users have opted into.
The exception, of course, has always been sponsored posts from advertisers.
Now Instagram is allowing organic content in the main feed that users have not opted into.
This update is receiving much criticism from Instagram users over the fact they’re getting content in their feeds that they didn’t ask for.
We’ll get into that a little later. First let’s look at how this new feature works.
Instagram Suggested Posts
After users have caught up with all recent content from people they follow, the Instagram feed will display a collection of suggested posts.
The option to “View Older Posts” will be displayed once users have scrolled to the bottom of their followed posts.
Continuing to scroll will bring users to a list of suggested posts.
Instagram will infinitely generate more suggested posts, so users can keep scrolling to their heart’s content.
Although this feature sounds similar to Instagram Explore, suggested posts will reportedly offer a different set of content.
How Suggested Posts Are Selected
Suggested posts in users’ main feed will be similar to the content from people who they already follow.
Suggested posts are designed to curate related content, while the Explore tab is more for exploring a broad range of content.
In a new help center article, Instagram states:
“When scrolling through Feed, you may see Suggested Posts after you’ve seen all the most recent posts from accounts you follow. These suggestions are based on posts from accounts like the ones you follow and posts similar to the ones you like or save.”
If users aren’t interested in a particular post they can send feedback to Instagram. Feedback will be reflected in future suggestions.
Simply tap the three-dot icon that appears at the top of the post and select “Not interested.”
In addition to an automatically curated selection of organic posts, this new section of the Instagram feed will also contain ads.
Organic content will be limited to photos and videos only. That means no IGTV or Reels content.
Criticism So Far
There’s nary a positive word to be found about this update
The criticism, thus far, is three-fold:
- It could lead to users spending more time on Instagram, which can negatively impact mental health.
- A infinite scrolling feed of content is too similar to TikTok.
- Users don’t want to see content they didn’t ask for.
Instagram’s director of product, Robby Stein, addresses concerns that suggested posts will encourage users to spend more time on the app:
“Our goal is to make it clear when you’re all caught up so you can decide how you want to best use your time.
We see people continuing to seek out more posts they’re interested in after catching up with their feeds, so we wanted to learn from that and make it easier to go a little deeper for those who choose to do so.”
If feedback so far is anything to go by, perhaps users won’t spend much additional time on the app.
The feature seems to be universally loathed. Either that or we’re only hearing from a vocal minority.
Instagram, if I wanted to see suggested posts, I'll go to the explore page where suggested posts belong. DO NOT SCREW WITH MY FEED.
— Ryan Kang (@rkangphoto) August 19, 2020
Okay, but what's with the suggested posts bruh? IT IS UNNECESSARY TO FILL UP MY TIMELINE WITH POST FROM PEOPLE I DON'T FOLLOW??????
— najiha (@izzatulizhab) August 19, 2020
does instagram realize.. i follow the people i follow for a reason and don’t want them putting “suggested posts” on my feed
— a lice (@_alicejay) August 19, 2020
all of my suggested instagram posts are weight loss posts.
thanks, i didn’t need that today.
— lane⚜️ (@theduncan5) August 19, 2020
Whether you want to see suggested posts or not, they’re now rolling out to all Instagram users worldwide.