THE BLOG

Dear Instagram, We Hate The Stupid Algorithm -- Sincerely, Every User

16/05/2017 01:37 SAST | Updated 24/05/2017 21:13 SAST
NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s dumb, it’s wrong, it’s counterproductive, it’s rude, it’s frustrating, it’s confusing, it’s downright evil. All these things and a lot more can be said about a stupid algorithm created by really smart people.

That’s just it, the Instagram executives are too smart for their own good. They think they’re helping us and their financial bottom line at the same time by having the algorithm only show us what they think we want to see.

What they failed to remember is that the number one most functionally amazing technology ever created to tell Instagram with extreme accuracy what I want to see in chronological order is the follow button!

The follow button was masterfully crafted with 100 percent accuracy to show users only what they want to see in their feed.

The other aspect that these extremely book smart—but clearly not street smart—IG executives failed to realize when deciding what posts are most relevant to show us, based on our previous engagement with accounts, is that there’s lots of accounts that we’re forced to engage with for political reasons—like if my nephew, mother-in-law or co-worker posts something, I’m obligated to “like” it.

On the flip side of that, I’m never going to like an @anacheri photo because it’s too sexy and my wife would be infuriated, and I’m never going to comment on @danbilzerian’s exploits on his page in fear of getting in trouble as well.

But it obviously doesn’t mean that i don’t wanna see Ana and Dan’s posts just because I don’t engage with them. It’s far from that! I’m on Instagram to get a rush of endorphins to feel good, so I’d much rather see their entertaining content than my cousin’s dinner salad.

But with the way the algorithm works, I may never get those endorphins because it may push those pages way down in my feed or completely ignore them, all at the algorithm’s discretion.

Note: just because I never “like” my competitors page doesn’t mean I don’t wanna see what the restaurant owner across the street is posting in real time. It’s an easy way to stay on top of their marketing and specials.

The other major issue that every single social media influencer hates deep in their souls is that Instagram “cut the reach” just like Facebook did. So now if you have 1,000,000 followers, you may only get 16,314 views on a video because Instagram is planning on charging influencers and brands to expand their reach.

So even though influencers, models, makeup artists, athletes, musicians and celebrities worked years to build up Instagram to be the most compelling app in history, the execs don’t want the influencers to charge for advertisements/sponsorships on their pages.

At the same time, they expect the content creators to pay for reach on their posts.

Influencers and 16-year-old kids alike check back into Instagram many times a day to get their dopamine fix. That addictive feeling is caused by the release of dopamine into our bodies.

Again what Instagram execs have failed to realize or take notice of is that many users with large and small followings post much less frequently because they’re physically stressed out about how few likes/views/comments they get nowadays, due to the limited reach.

The lack of engagement is embarrassing. It causes emotional distress and truly pulls the fun out of the most impressive app of all time.

We know Instagram needs to sell ads, and we’re all at peace with that.

What we’re not happy about is that they knocked the wind out of our sails by cutting the reach, and they confused the heck out of us by switching away from chronological order—for instance, displaying our aunt’s post from 10 hours ago at the top of our feed instead of a post from our friend who just posted two min ago. A post from a friend no less from the same college basketball game that we’re attending so that we could meet up in the arena.

In conclusion, I hope this sentiment gets shared enough so that the the top brass at Instagram sees it.

If the Instagram corporate account posted a VOTE asking how many people like the reach being cut, or a second vote asking if users appreciate the non-chronological order, they would receive a landslide of votes that may finally be the wake-up call they need to see that we all loved the old instagram.

#IfItAintBrokeDontFixIt

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