When Instagram started in 2010, it was just a simple photo-sharing platform for IOS mobile device users. Within a period of just two months, it gained one million users. That was just the beginning of its exponentially growing popularity worldwide. Today, there are 150 million active users and 16 billion photos that are shared regularly.
What made Instagram so successful and addictive?
Its simplicity and practicality were optimal to start off with, but its continuous effort to evolve its platform engages users even more. Just like any other social media app like Snapchat or Facebook, Instagram has been responding to all the users’ demand and innovating creative ways to keep the app novel and interesting at all times.
Here are some of the latest controversial changes Instagram has brought:
- Switching accounts without having to log out
Living double lives online, especially on Instagram, has become a common trend among students. Finstagram (aka “fake” instagram) has suddenly become popular with teenagers who have grown reluctant in maintaining a very edited or “perfect looking fun life” insta feed. On their finsta, they have more freedom and confidence to post whatever they want by limiting their followers to their close friends and not having to worry about how many likes they get.
Finally, Instagram will be launching a feature to please all those who dread having to logout and log back in every time they want to post on different accounts. It’ll be a boon to their users who desire fast and expedient ways to share their multi-life and connect with others on Instagram.
“It’s really helpful for me because I have three accounts: my personal one, finsta, and a food account called ‘Southfeastasia.’ But the downside is that I get so many notifications at once as all three accounts are instantly joined together,” said junior Emily Fischer.
- Video watch counts instead of likes
“Views are the most widely expected form of feedback on video. Adding view counts is the first of many ways you’ll see video on Instagram get better this year,” said Instagram.
While the number of likes is the main factor to determine a photo’s popularity, we often correlate a video’s popularity with the number of views. When we are on Youtube, we find ourselves searching for videos with the most views, not the most likes. However, there are multiple views on this new feature. Some disagree that views are a determinant of the video’s popularity as someone can easily scroll through the feed without any thought.
“Views doesn’t matter. I see hundreds of ads a day but I don’t like all videos I see. It’s the number of likes not views that can measure the popularity of a post,” says senior Christopher Chan.
- No more chronological Feed
Your feed will now be more personalized. Currently, when we go onto our feeds, the posts are listed by time order – from the latest post by people whom you follow. But that will no longer be the case once Instagram launches this new feature that customizes your feed based on an algorithm that analyzes your interests (ex. Most often clicked follower, recently visited user etc.) Does this sound familiar to any other social media you use?
Facebook has been using this algorithm for a while. On your feed, you don’t see posts instantly but after sorting based on your activities online.
It seems inevitable that Instagram, having been bought by Facebook in 2010, would have had to adopt this feature for their platform as well, according to Time.
Whenever there are new features added to an application we use daily, we tend to be uneasy at first with all the changes. These three new features deviate from Instagram’s original platform, but perhaps it is for the better.
What do you think?