As Facebook is wont to do, the social network has once again tweaked an algorithm and wreaked havoc in our feeds. Maybe.
Earlier this month, Facebook-owned Instagram announced that it would no longer organize posts chronologically. "To improve your experience," the company explained, "your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most." Instagram explained that "the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order—all the posts will still be there, just in a different order."
Now, it seems, that change is starting to kick in, and Instagram users are scrambling to make sure their posts aren't downgraded in your feed.
To avoid Insta-oblivion, users are encouraging their followers to turn on post notifications for their accounts. To do so, a follower must go to the accounts page and click on the ellipsis at the top right corner of the screen, and then select "turn on post notifications." If you opt into post notifications, you'll get pinged each time the user uploads something to Instagram.
Users are employing the questionable hashtag #turnmeon and a message with an arrow (or something) pointing to the ellipsis to catch their followers' eye, and attempt to convince them to turn notifications on.
People have gotten creative… and maybe a little desperate:
This method doesn't appear to work on desktop—if you click on the aforementioned ellipsis on your computer, you have the option of blocking the user, reporting the user, or canceling. This apparent discrepancy is causing confusion.
Some people, like social media star Jack Johnson, are not having it.
Like, at all:
Johnson may be right, according to The Independent, which points out that it's hard to track down why so many Instagrammers are saying that the algorithm change is imminent. From the Independent:
It could be that someone on Instagram has been tipped off about the change. Or it could be that adding that the change is coming tomorrow to the posts begging for notifications is a way for people to get more users to subscribe to their post notifications, and get more views. An Instagram spokesperson said that the roll out would be gradual, and that the company would share more information before it was launched more broadly.
So don't believe the hype just yet, probably.
Jack Johnson was right.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.