While everyone freaked out about Instagram’s new logo, a bigger change took place

how to manage multiple Instagram accounts
prykhodov/123RF
Instagram users may have briefly found themselves a tad confused earlier this week as the popular photo sharing app completely changed its logo and look. But under the hood, an even more ground-shaking change is underway that permanently changes how the service operates.

Soon images will no longer display in chronological order, but rather listed based on a proprietary algorithm. This is not necessary breaking news — the site itself announced back in March that it was making the change, and began testing it on a “select” number of users.

Parent company Facebook does something similar, aimed at highlighting posts you care about and suppressing others you may not. But now a group of users — perhaps some of the service’s most loyal — are finding out that Instagram may no longer be the gold mine it once was.

These are brands and influencers, both of which use the site for promotional purposes. Some of these accounts have tens or hundreds of thousands of users (if not millions), and counted on Instagram to quickly get out their message to their many followers.

Now these users are faced with the potential problem of not getting displayed on a significant portion of their followers. Like Facebook, these users now need to pay for guaranteed exposure, or take their chances.

In a statement to Inc, Instagram denied that the logo/design change was an attempt to cover up its move to an algorithmic timeline. It says tests are still ongoing — something Digital Trends was able to confirm in an informal poll, as some had it, some didn’t — and there were no immediate plans to roll it out broadly.

That might be due to the massive protest over the change. A Change.org petition so far has more than 336,000 signees, and with Snapchat increasingly cutting into Instagram’s active user base, angering your users might not be good business.

But, with any change there’s always potential for upside. One immediate benefit could be a reduction in clutter. Some of these “influencer” accounts are some of Instagram’s most active posters, which, if you’re following enough, could bury content you’re truly interested in. With a timeline system that is taking your likes into account, it might result in a better experience.

As for influencers, they’ll just have to figure out how to make do in this new world, and post higher quality content.

Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Social Media

New Zealand attacks show that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Twitter wants you to help shape the future design of its app

Twitter is launching an app for testing new design features and it wants you to get involved. Those accepted into the program will have the chance to try out different conversation designs aimed at improving the user experience.
Photography

Selfie snapper attacked by jaguar during foolhardy photo attempt

Selfies with animals don't always work out too well, as a woman at a zoo in Arizona found out recently. Passing a safety barrier to get closer to a jaguar, the animal responded angrily by digging its claws into her flesh.
Emerging Tech

Professional drone racing is flying onto Twitter this summer

Professional drone racing is coming to Twitter for the first time this summer. Organizers hope the streaming deal with the social media platform will help the growing sport to further broaden its audience.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.