Everyone is having an Instagram freak out. The social media platform is changing its format from chronological to algorithm-based, which basically means that your timeline will be rearranged to show photos that Instagram thinks you want to see.
Fans and celebrities are not having it. Kendall and Kylie Jenner--who have a combined following of over 100 million fans--have spoken out against the change. Kendall tweeted: "Don’t fix something that isn't broken." Kylie added, "This whole Instagram update is just so down the line you'll have to pay Instagram to be at the top of the feed."
The 18-year-old has been especially vocal with criticism. "Instagram is changing out of chronological order so let's say you love someone's photos but don't physically 'like' their pics they will bump them to the bottom," Kylie shared. "It's called INSTAgram for a reason. I don't really understand it and there has to be another motive because you follow people for a reason."
In some ways, Kylie is correct. Instagram seems to be following in the footsteps of its parent company Facebook. Like Facebook, it's feasible that celebrities and brands will have to pay for advertising in order to "beat the algorithm" and show up in your timeline. With some 400 million users--who don't pay a dime for the platform--this is likely a revenue play for Instagram down the line. As someone whose personal brand lives on Instagram, Kylie would not want to pay to promote each of her photos. For us normal folks, casual lurking may be harder. Unless you actively interact with a profile and Instagram's internal algorithm thinks you need to see a photo, you may miss it. Awkward convos with friends about why you haven't seen their photos are pretty much guaranteed.
As a way to stop the change, Kylie and countless others are urging fans to "Turn On Post Notifications." This feature alerts you every time someone makes a post. Unfortunately, this means that every single time Kylie posts a pouty selfie or paid placement for detox tea, you will get a notification. Lena Dunham put it this way: "I'd let a family member get swallowed by a dragon before I'd allow Instagram push notifications to come to my phone."
Instagram hears the frustration. The platform promises that changes aren't happening yet. "We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly."
Looks like we'll have to wait it out to see if they take the criticism into consideration.