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Looming Algorithms and Update Bugs Cause Instagram Tension


Every time an app-based network like Instagram gets an overhaul, people get annoyed. Typically, they have very little reason to be, other than fear of change, but this time around the panic might be a bit more justified. With the second recent update, many Instagram users found themselves totally unable to log out, the button had simply vanished from the settings tab with nary a farewell or tip of the hat.

Now, that's unlikely to be an issue if you've only got the one account, but many people split their time across two or more, making the ability to actually log out of them kind of essential. Instagram have since dealt with the problem, but not before a big contingent of the user base descended into panic, as is often the way with these things. Even with that issue resolved though, there's something else on the horizon which is causing concern.

Instagram recently announced that they are planning to replace the chronological timeline with an algorithmic one, a la Twitter, and this has stirred up a whole mess of trouble. Many users are worried that, under this new regime, their posts will simply be buried, and thus many have started begging their followers to turn notifications on, prompting an update to be sent out every time they post a new photo.

Of course, if you were to do this for everyone you follow on Instagram, your phone would never shut up, since most people follow dozens, if not hundreds of accounts, and many of those accounts post several times a day. If you're going to have notifications on for anyone, you should be madly in love with them at the very least, at the very least.

A photo posted by Elena Cresci (@elenacresci) on

Is this is a legitimate concern, though? Will posts be too jumbled around for people to get the same traffic as they did before? We don't know, it's worked out pretty well for Twitter, but Instagram is a completely different kind of platform. What we do know is that this mass panic wasn't brought on by a collective distrust in the new system, but rather by one 'influencer' throwing a fit about it and everyone either assuming that they were right to do so, or just following the inevitable chain of screaming.

That being said, it's always distressing when something we all use undergoes drastic change on the whims of people who think they know what we want better than we do (I think that's called 'democracy'), but it's still preferable to having your phone buzzing at you 800 times a day because Ellie Goulding was too terrified of you not seeing her next gym selfie.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Looming Algorithms and Update Bugs Cause Instagram Tension Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, April 01, 2016 Rating: 5

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