Instagram says the reception of its recent “suggested posts” feature has been so positive that it is launching a new test: This time, suggested posts will be shuffled into the main feed, even before photos and videos from people you already follow.
The company is also testing new controls that will allow users to add specific topics as an interest for suggested posts, as well as the ability to postpone recommendations for 30 days to hide them completely from the feed. This new test will reach a “small number” of users, but the company has not clarified how many or what the criteria is.
Although this change is only a test, it could mark a major change in the operation of the platform. Although people may prefer to see only posts from people they follow, especially if that group is small (a lot of people are still upset that the feed is no longer chronological, not to mention that it now includes posts from strangers).
This move also seems to be part of a broader trend where platforms are trying to give users a semblance of control over the algorithm. While algorithms are powerful enough to know what people’s interests are and what keeps them hooked, letting people select what they want to see could make them feel more empowered and give them a greater understanding of why they see what they see.
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