Instagram is now rolling out its “recommended for you” feature that shows photos in your feed snapped by people you’re not following.
It was spotted in testing earlier this month, but now folks at the photo-sharing service have told TechCrunch they’re rolling it out for all users, albeit gradually and without any official announcement (so far).
No, Instagram won’t be throwing in random images from random users. The recommended shots, which are clearly labeled as such, will of course be selected by Instagram’s carefully designed algorithms in the hope that each image will pique your interest and prompt you to follow whoever took it.
“These posts are suggested based on posts liked by accounts you follow,” Instagram explains on its support pages, adding that you can choose to hide the recommended posts if you feel they somehow upset the serenity of your carefully curated feed. To do so, tap on the three dots by the post and then tap “hide.” Take note though, this merely tidies up your feed by removing the post — it doesn’t stop Instagram dropping in more recommended content into your feed. Still, if masses of users keep hiding content, the company should soon get the message that its new idea isn’t going down too well with the Instagram community.
Up to now, you had to be proactive to find new content on Instagram, by either hitting the Explore button to see a grid of photos, or by tapping in keywords in the Search box at the top of the display, or by scrolling through the Following tab via the heart icon to see what photos your friends have recently liked and which users they’ve started to follow.
You can also now choose to follow particular hashtags, a neat and overdue feature that was introduced just a few weeks ago.
The recommended-for-you feature is the first big shake-up to the Instagram feed since it shifted from a chronological feed to an algorithmic one in 2016.
This latest change to Instagram feeds is set to deliver lots of fresh content to users. The company hopes the tweak will help to drive engagement with the Instagram app, which of course would then allow it to charge top dollar to advertisers aiming to sell their products to as many users as possible.