This week, in place of picturesque snapshots of smoked salmon salads and expertly olive oiled avocado toast, Instagram was instead flooded with posts from people and businesses alike asking followers to “turn on notifications.” (Guilty as charged.)
Why the sudden shift from pretty snacks and tablescapes to all those arrows?
The internet was in a frenzy over the platform’s anticipated new algorithm, which will display users’ feeds to them in order of popularity and relevance rather than chronologically. So why the Insta-pocalyptic panic?
For brands—as well as bloggers, influencers, and fitness Insta-stars like Kayla Itsines and Anna Victoria who rely heavily on the platform—it actually might make a difference in how they reach and interact with followers, New York Magazine reports. Without enough fan interaction, their posts are likely to get buried or go unseen.
“While Instagram’s new algorithm doesn’t come as a surprise to me, it is a pretty an unfortunate change,” says Victoria, the social media fitness phenom whose follower count is closing in on one million. “I think one things people like about Instagram is being able to see posts in real-time, and if they are following someone, that’s a pretty good indicator that they want to see that person’s posts. So many people follow accounts that they don’t necessarily interact with, but that doesn’t mean they want to see their posts any less.”
They key—for everyone—is a no-brainer: post engaging content. After all, the more interaction your posts receive—in the form of likes and comments—the more likely they are to remain at the top of someone’s feed. And fear not: If you post something that isn’t deemed a hit, that doesn’t mean it disappears.
“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,” Instagram said in a March 15 blog post. “All the posts will still be there, just in a different order.” So the more frequently you engage with someone’s content, the more likely you are to keep seeing that user’s posts.
If you haven’t noticed the Insta-changes, that’s because, in spite of this week’s onslaught of change-related chatter, they haven’t actually been put into effect yet (though an Instagram rep told Vanity Fair that the changes are being beta-tested right now by a small, single-digit percentage of users). When the new format does roll out—likely sometime in the next couple months—Instagram promises to let everyone know first.
Now get to double-tapping to ensure you don’t miss a workout or wedge salad from your favorite healthy Instagrammers.
Meanwhile, the question remains: If you Instagram your smoothie bowl but no one sees it, will it still taste as good?
Speaking of smoothie bowls (as in, how they taste, not how they look): These 35 delicious, healthy smoothie bowls will change your mornings forever.