Algorithmic social networks

Instagram is going to an algorithmic feed:

To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.

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.

There must be something to be said for perceived “intimacy” within a social network. The balance between a ghost town and the whole world being on a network.

I like seeing my Instagram feed in order. If anything were to be different, I’d like to see oldest first, like I do on my Twitter app, so I can better follow a timeline of, “what did my friends and family do today?”

Isn’t intimacy and community what made Facebook cool early on, Twitter after that, and Instagram now (for me at least)? Is it safe to say that most people follow far fewer people on Instagram than they are friends with on Facebook? It’s certainly true for me.

Everyone I know that uses Instagram seems to really value that they are following specific people, and the greater intimacy of pictures only (fewer political statements and junk, more actual life stuff) is appealing. For instance, it’s the only network where I actually keep up with family.

The algorithm makes me lose at least some of that intimacy, and I’m pretty bummed about it. Part of me thinks Path might have been ahead of its time.

Posted in Web

2 thoughts on “Algorithmic social networks

  1. \”I’d like to see oldest first, like I do on my Twitter app,\” Except that Twitter has also announced that they will be putting what they believe to be of interest to us first, exactly the same as Instagram. They announced the changes within hours of another.

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