Instagram's algorithmic feed is the worst thing to happen to me all summer (2023)

Nobody loves change, especially when it hits our most beloved digital services like Gmail, Facebook, Spotify, or Instagram.

The majority of the time we get over these changes and suddenly forget what these services were like before. It’s like seeing a friend’s new haircut — shocking at first, but eventually that haircut is the only one you’ve ever known. Remember Facebook before the Newsfeed? Instagram before the videos? I doubt it.

I preamble down this road so that you understand the severity of my opinion when I say: I fucking hate Instagram’s new, algorithmic feed.

It’s been six weeks since it rolled out to everyone. I’ve given it time. I’ve tried. And after much thought and deliberation, I’ve decided that I hate it.

Algorithm vs. Father Time

So we’re all on the same page, let me tell you exactly what happened. Since the dawn of time (when Instagram launched), Instagram has put its content in chronological format. That means that when you open the app, you see what was posted most recently and, as you scroll, you see older and older posts.

Then, in March, Instagram started rolling out an algorithmic timeline. By June, this ‘feature’ had reached all users.

The algorithmic feed tries to calculate what you will like best and put it at the top of your feed.

Congratulations, Instagram/Facebook, on wasting countless man hours and computational power on something almost no one wants.


In that span of time, users all over the place cried foul. Celebrities and other folks who partially rely on their Instagram traffic pleaded with users to turn on individual push notifications for their posts. Of course, this outrage died down just in time for the global release.

In June, Instagram fully rolled out “a new way of ordering posts in feed so you’ll see the moments you care about first.” LOL.

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“With this new ordering you won’t miss your favorite band’s video after the concert, even if it took place across the world in a different time zone. And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.” El. Oh. El.

It’s been six weeks since this release, and after living through it, I’ve discovered that the whole idea is just as ridiculous as it was in March, when the algorithmic feed was announced.

I took a poll yesterday on Twitter and out of 1,671 responses 88 percent of people said they prefer the old Instagram to the new.

Do you prefer the old Instagram or the new algorithmic Instagram feed?

— Jordan Crook (@jordanrcrook) July 11, 2016


So why does Instagram continue down this algorithmic path when it’s users clearly don’t like it?

The first reason is Facebook, the company that owns Instagram, operates its highly successful Newsfeed through an algorithm. Based on all the math currently available, it’s not ridiculous to presume that Instagram would see greater success through an algorithm the same way that the Newsfeed did.

Which brings us to engagement.

Some Instagram users remember the last post they saw when they closed the app, and they scroll all the way to that post when they open up the app again. When the feed is chronological, this is pretty easy, and it ensures that the user has seen everything from each of the people they follow.

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If you opened up Instagram six hours ago, you have six hours worth of pictures to look at.

If Instagram mixes everything up, with posts from 11 hours ago on the top of the feed and posts from a few minutes ago way down the line, then the user must continue scrolling (endlessly, even) to get through every post.

“On average, people miss 70 percent of their feeds,” Instagram explained. “It’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share as Instagram has grown.”

In theory, this FOMO-driven approach means higher engagement and more advertisement views out of users.

Unless, of course, you’re a brand (but not an Instagram advertiser) that is pushing out time-sensitive posts to your followers.

In short, this ploy for engagement only benefits Instagram and the brands that choose to advertise on Instagram. And no one else.

Theory vs. Reality

Not everyone can, or will, be sucked into the endless scroll. Especially when the algorithm is serving up stuff you don’t care about.

Of course, boring posts may spark curiosity about what other pictures and videos might be lurking past the next scroll, and it may catalyze a few more swipes. But when I’m looking at shit I don’t care about, I’m pretty much done with that session of Instagram.

At least when I was looking at dumb pictures before, it was my own fault. I followed boring users, they posted, and then their content lived in my feed. There was no one to blame but myself.

Now, when my Instagram feed is boring or too full of a certain group of friends and missing another, I blame Instagram. The brand itself feels more like an extension of Facebook than a cool place to check up on my friends’ perceptions of themselves.

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In short, I’m starting to get angry.

You Don’t Know Me, Instagram

And part of that anger comes from how Instagram seems to feel about me. All the presumption.

There are a wide variety of reasons to open up Instagram, ranging from very specific stalking of another person to general boredom and an impulse to browse the excitement of the lives of others.

In the same way, there are a wide variety of reasons to like something, or conversely, resist liking something.

Here are a few examples:

I follow one of my teachers from high school. We stay in touch every few months. She’s in my phonebook and she’s one of my Facebook friends. Her feed is mostly her children, and while I’ve never met them and she is most certainly not one of my best friends, I like most of her pictures. It’s one of the few ways I can stay regularly connected to her.

She is but a distant moon in my life, and now she dominates my Instagram feed.

Meanwhile, I also follow @thefatjewish and @fuckjerry. I don’t like many of their pictures because my likes don’t really make a difference to them (kind of like my vote for president). Still, I read and giggle at almost every one of their posts. I’m not friends with either of them on Facebook; they’re not in my address book.

And now, they’re nowhere to be found on my Instagram feed, either.

Likes As A Weapon

It’s safe to assume that Instagram uses ‘likes’ as its north star in this God-forsaken algorithm.

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And now, I look back on many of my likes with regret. If only I’d known that Instagram would determine everything I want to see based on that double-tap, exploding heart.

I would have done things differently.

But even if I did — even if I liked only the pictures and the posters that were my absolute, objective favorites — it still wouldn’t make a difference.

A chronological timeline might sound mundane or predictable, but there is some odd serendipity and surprise that comes with seeing everything in the order that it was posted.

Less frequent posters might have put something interesting up today. Frenemies, whose photos I rarely like, might post something delightfully cringeworthy. Forgotten friends might post something from your shared history. An ex, one I didn’t designate on Facebook, might post a pic with a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

When I opened up the old Instagram, I didn’t know what I wanted to look at until it was in front of me.

Likes, in many ways, are as ambiguous as an old-school Facebook Poke. To measure what I want to see based mostly on what I’ve liked in the past is simplifying the human mind down to a spreadsheet of “If… then…” statements.

Settle In

Twitter made a similar change in March, showing the best tweets first, but with an option to opt-out of that feature.

Instagram has had plenty of time to offer an opt-out for the algorithmic timeline and bring back the chronological feed. And they haven’t.

They’ve had plenty of time to introduce a toggle, where you could turn the sliding puzzle of your algorithmic timeline into something that actually makes sense. But they haven’t.

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So don’t expect the new Instagram to be the app we once knew and loved.

The only solace can be found in the fact that Instagram could still launch lists, like on Twitter. Presumably, these would let us designate certain users that we want to see in chronological fashion.

It’s not a perfect solution, but if Instagram’s move towards the algorithm has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is perfect anymore.


Why is Instagram's algorithm so bad? ›

These algorithms change often, so the tactic that worked yesterday may be inefficient today. For example, regular posting and adding hashtags doesn't work the same as it might have before. Using inefficient technique based on past knowledge of the Instagram algorithm will hardly help you reach your target audience.

How do I fix my Instagram feed algorithm? ›

If you think the Instagram algorithm isn't picking up your content, follow these tips: respect community guidelines, get creative with Reels, schedule your posts at the right time for maximum reach, respond to comments and DMs, use the right hashtags, post consistently, and check your Instagram analytics.

Why am I getting so many suggested posts on Instagram? ›

You may see suggested posts in places such as your Instagram feed and Explore. These suggestions are based on things like: Your activity: Who you follow and what posts you've liked, saved or commented on. Your connections: Your history of connecting with that account or similar accounts on Instagram.

What happened to Instagram algorithm? ›

In one of the biggest updates to Instagram in 2023, the platform no longer wants users to use 8-15 hashtags and instead favors posts with 3-5. Instead, it wants users to use keywords in their captions that relate to the video. The AI will read the caption and show users who are engaged with similar content.

Why has my Instagram engagement suddenly dropped? ›

A drop in your engagement might mean that the discoverability of your Instagram profile is lower. Users need to find your profile when they search for a keyword related to your account. For this, you need to optimize your profile for search.

Why am I getting less likes on Instagram? ›

You are not posting consistently

If you don't have a regular posting schedule or take a break from posting you may notice a drop in likes. That's because Instagram rewards creators who are active and post regularly. Solution: You should be posting consistently as much as possible.

Why is no one seeing my posts on Instagram? ›

When people follow you, Instagram knowns they would like to view your content. So even if Instagram doesn't show your posts to a majority of your followers at first, it may get picked up by the algorithm and end up on your followers' feeds later on. So try waiting a day or two before posting again.

Why am I seeing so many suggested for you posts? ›

Hence, the content you see as suggestions is based on the following: Topics you've previously engaged with. Content with higher engagement by other members of the page or group you also frequently converse with. The type of content people in the same location as you are currently engaged with.

Can you turn off all suggested posts on Instagram? ›

Unfortunately, you cannot disable or hide the entire suggested posts feature or section on Instagram yet. But you can hide individual suggested posts to tell Instagram you did not like them. Alternatively, you can also tap “View Older Posts” or “Older Posts” to see previous posts from accounts you follow.

Why am I getting suggested posts? ›

Much of the content users see on the app comes from their home feed, showing primarily content from other creators that they follow on the platform. You will also often see 'suggested posts,' in your feed, which is content that the app presumes you might want to see based on the other content you interact with.

How is Instagram changing in 2023? ›

A Brand New Way To Collaborate. Instagram unrolls the latest "Collab" option for users to upload a post or reels collaboratively. The Instagram update opens opportunities for content creators to send collaboration invites to other users and create mutual posts or reels.

Has Instagram algorithm changed recently? ›

Instagram initially used a simple chronological algorithm that displayed posts in order of how they were created. But the Instagram algorithm in 2023 has become a highly sophisticated system for determining which content to display to each user based on what they care about the most.

Why aren't my followers seeing my posts on Instagram? ›

The visibility of your posts depends on your account's privacy setting: For private accounts: Only your approved followers can see your posts. For public accounts: Anyone on Instagram can see your posts. You can see all the posts you've shared by visiting your profile.

Why is my reach so low on Instagram 2023? ›

Remember, the 2023 Instagram algorithm wants to show people what they like! So, to increase your reach on Instagram, you have to make your content more engaging. In addition, your content needs to be timely and specific to your audience. This will help the Instagram algorithm push your content to the right people.

How many times should I post on Instagram? ›

Generally, we recommend posting at least once a day to maximize your visibility and engagement. However, if you have more time and resources, you can post multiple times a day, or even several times a week. Experiment to find the posting schedule that works best for you and your followers.

What hurts Instagram engagement? ›

The lack of intention, or the lack of planning, behind your content, will lead to a low engagement rate. If you need to take a break from posting, to take a step back and plan out your content so that you can be ahead…DO IT.

Why did my Instagram post flop? ›

If you're not posting regularly, you're likely to see a drop in reach. Consistent doesn't mean multiple times a day, every day. In fact, unless you have a team to help you accomplish this, you're sure to burn out. Consistency is one of the most talked-about elements of success on Instagram, but it's also the hardest.

How do you fix dead engagement on Instagram? ›

To get the Instagram algorithm back on your side, engage with other accounts on the platform. Comment on content from other creators or businesses in your niche. Follow relevant hashtags and engage with the posts. Reach out to your followers and leave likes and comments on their feed posts and Stories.

Can I fix my Instagram feed? ›

Another easy way to fix your Instagram feed is to log out of your account and then log in once again. On your computer, just click on your profile photo in the top right corner and then select the Log Out option. From your phone or tablet, you can just click on the hamburger icon in the top right.

How long are you Shadowbanned on Instagram? ›

Instagram shadowban can last between a few days to a few weeks. And if you don't do anything about it – it might be a permanent one too.

What is Instagram Shadowban? ›

An Instagram shadowban refers to the act of hiding or restricting a user's content without informing the user that it's happening. If you're shadowbanned, your content won't appear on anyone's feed, Explore, or hashtag pages unless they already follow you.

Why don't my friends like my Instagram posts? ›

Sometimes they may be too occupied to have the time for liking your posts, or they may not be fans of social media altogether. The point is, don't rush to conclusions if your friend never likes your posts because the reason may have nothing to do with you.

Does liking your own Instagram post help? ›

If you like your own post, you will likely get many many more views. But instead of being worried about whether people will think you are weird or whether you feel weird doing it. Do it, trust me. Let me give you an example of the traction you can get by liking your own post.

What are peak hours on Instagram? ›

Looking at Instagram as a whole, Monday through Friday, 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. observes the most consistent engagement. Engagement becomes lower every day before 6 A.M. and after 9 P.M.

Why do some Instagram posts get no views? ›

Not getting views is pretty normal, especially if you run a small account. Unfortunately, Instagram often reduces the reach of smaller accounts, and the content posted is mainly shown to the followers only.

How do I get rid of suggested for you? ›

Login to Facebook on your personal account that's an admin of the Page.
  1. From the left sidebar of your Page, click Settings.
  2. From General, click Similar Page Suggestions.
  3. Click to uncheck the box next to Include [Page name] when recommending similar Pages people might like on a Page timeline.
  4. Click Save Changes. source.

How do I turn off most relevant posts? ›

How to Enable Comment Ranking on a FB Page
  1. On Facebook, click Pages.
  2. Click the Page you wish to manage.
  3. Click Settings. ...
  4. Click Comment Ranking.
  5. Either tick or untick See most relevant comments by default, depending on which you wish to implement.
  6. Click Save Changes.
Jul 23, 2022

How do I stop Instagram from recommending? ›

Choose Settings. Tap Notifications. Select Following and Followers. Under Account Suggestions, select Off.

Why is Instagram showing me posts I've already seen? ›

At times, you might see a post from a few days ago in your feed. This is to make sure you don't miss a post from someone you follow or a suggested post. Learn more about how Instagram determines the order of posts in your feed.

How do I get rid of suggested reels on Instagram? ›

Tap above a post. For reels, tap in the bottom right. Tap Not Interested, then tap Don't suggest posts with certain words. Tap Done.

Does friend suggestion mean someone looked at your profile? ›

The first name that pops up is either the last person you looked at, or the last person who looked at you. Facebook also gives you friend suggestions; those are people who may have been looking at your profile.

How does Instagram algorithm work? ›

The Instagram algorithm is the set of processes Instagram uses to understand what users like. The platform uses this information to show people more of what they enjoy by predicting what content someone will find interesting and engaging. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't one, all-powerful algorithm.

Does Instagram suggest friends who have searched for you? ›

Search History – If you recently searched for someone on Instagram and spent time looking at their profile without following them, they will appear as a suggestion later. The algorithm also considers time spent on their profile, linked pictures, and other factors here.

What is the most liked Instagram post 2023? ›

The most-liked post as of May 2023 is a carousel of the Argentine footballer Lionel Messi and his teammates celebrating the 2022 FIFA World Cup win at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, which has been liked by over 75.6 million different accounts.

Can I see who viewed my Instagram? ›

To look at who's seen your story, open your story and swipe up on the screen. You'll see the number and the Instagram usernames of the people who have viewed each photo or video in your story.

What happened to Instagram feed? ›

It's been nearly six years since Instagram switched from a chronological feed to an algorithm feed — and a lot of people haven't been happy about it. Rather than seeing all the posts and stories from their followed accounts, the algorithm feed forces people to see posts and stories based on how they used Instagram.

Is Instagram moving away from reels? ›

Instagram Head recently announced that the platform was largely focused on Reels in 2022, but the focus is going to be a balance between photos and videos going forward. Since its inception, Instagram had been a social platform where users would find photographic memories of intimate moments.

Why do I have so many followers but no likes on Instagram? ›

Content is still the king. Just having thousands of followers is not enough until you get engagement. Watch out the content you are posting on your Instagram account. Even when you are posting too much of formal content becomes one of the reason that you do not get likes.

How do people have so many followers on Instagram but no posts? ›

Click on one of the random accounts that follows you, and more often than not, you'll see that the account has hundreds or thousands of followers, but no posts — or just a few posts of its own. Or, it's set to private. This is because many of the random followers you get aren't real people or companies; they're bots.

Why do I lose followers on Instagram when I don't post? ›

If people can't find your content, they can't engage with it, making it difficult for you to build loyalty and trust over time. Your followers might love your Instagram posts, but if you rarely post, then the algorithm won't show them your content.

Does taking a break from Instagram help engagement? ›

First, we recommend taking a break from Instagram – a few days should help. If you continue with the same level of engagement, even if the nature of it is different, Instagram may still assume that the activity is not authentic. After two or three days, begin engaging with your audience in a real and meaningful way.

Why is no one liking my Instagram post? ›

A low reach could mean that you need to assess your hashtag performance, time of post, and the type of content you shared. These are 3 things that could unveil why your post has received less engagement and why it is being suppressed by Instagram. The higher your reach is, the more impressions you will get.

Why am I getting less likes on Instagram than I used to? ›

You are not posting consistently

If you don't have a regular posting schedule or take a break from posting you may notice a drop in likes. That's because Instagram rewards creators who are active and post regularly. Solution: You should be posting consistently as much as possible.

Why is TikTok's algorithm better than Instagram? ›

Using a comparison of the results garnered from each post on both platforms, including individual views and total views, it is concluded that the algorithm TikTok uses is superior in regards to showing specifically tagged content to potentially interested users.

Why is my Instagram engagement so low all of a sudden 2023? ›

Over the last few years, I've noticed a significant drop in my impressions, engagement, and number of new followers. The reason: Instagram's 2023 Algorithm. Thanks to the last few updates, only 10% of your followers are able to see your post.

Why do some friends not like my posts? ›

Why do some Facebook friends never like your posts? There are two ways of looking at this. First, the content you are posting is not interesting for people to view and like. Second, it could also be that your friend is not interested in the kind of content you post.

How often should you post on Instagram? ›

Posting on Instagram FAQ

Generally, we recommend posting at least once a day to maximize your visibility and engagement. However, if you have more time and resources, you can post multiple times a day, or even several times a week. Experiment to find the posting schedule that works best for you and your followers.

Which generation uses Instagram the most? ›

According to recent research on the age demographics of Instagram users, most Instagrammers fall within the 18-to-24 age range. In fact, nearly one-third (30.8%) of all Instagram users are in this age group.

Is it easier to go viral on TikTok or Instagram? ›

TikTok has the edge on short-form viral videos, purely because of the platform's shareability. However, if you want super long videos, Instagram's main video function allows hour-long files.

Is TikTok overtaking Instagram? ›

The last few years have brought a new entrant to the fray: TikTok. Launched in mid-2016, it has skyrocketed in popularity and recently overtook Instagram to become the world's number-one downloader. To put that into context, TikTok had 1.6 billion users in 2022.


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