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Feb 18 2020

New Instagram Feature Helps Users Keep Their Feed More Relevant

Instagram will now show you who you interact with the least, in case you want to unfollow them. In an effort to help users keep feeds clean and relevant, Instagram will show you your “most seen in feed” and “least interacted with.”

“Instagram is really about bringing you closer to the people and things you care about — but we know that over time, your interests and relationships can evolve and change,” a spokesperson from Instagram says. “Whether you graduate, move to a new city, or become obsessed with a new interest and find a community, we want to make it easier to manage the accounts you follow on Instagram so that they best represent your current connections and interests.

This feature has been a long time coming; with the introduction of filtered feeds paving the way for a truly personalised feed, the algorithms didn’t always purge the accounts we don’t really care about. Accepting a follow request, or following someone has become a modern day social contract, but sometimes we don’t want to cause drama by refusing to do either. With the new feature, we will no longer have to manually sort through our following lists, filtering out the ones we want to avoid- a pretty draining chore!

By increasing the density of high-quality posts in your feed and Stories by getting you to unfollow irrelevant accounts, Instagram could boost ad views. You’ll come across fewer irrelevant posts that might make you close the app so you instead keep scrolling and fast-forwarding while racking up ad impressions.

instagram feeds

What does this all mean for marketers? It is a little too early to tell, but it could go one of two ways. Users may end up purging their following list if, after reviewing their Following categories, they discover the accounts shown most often aren’t particularly engaging anymore, which could easily include brands.

Looking at this a more positive way – if users trim down their Following list it could lead to more engagement as well. Users will see more content from the accounts they really care about, and have more opportunities to engage with them. Either way, this is a really important feature for the marketing industry to take note of, especially in the case of brands that measure changes in total followers and engagement over time.

Some may view the new feature as another form of naming and shaming, which could have potentially harmful effects especially on younger generations who may share screenshots of their results. However, each quantifiable category is vague enough that it shouldn’t place targets on peoples back. Instead, the feature allows us to make our feeds more personalised and authentic, and to cut through the deafening noise of unrealistic and uninspiring content.

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