Remember when Instagram spazzed out on Monday?
If you somehow avoided Instagram for an entire 24 hours, here’s what happened. Earlier this month, Instagram announced on their blog that the app would be transitioning from a chronological to an algorithm timeline. Then on Monday, March 28th, a rumor began that the new timeline would be implemented on Tuesday, March 29th. Digital shots were fired. Our timelines have yet to change.
Posts telling me to “tap those three little dots” so I could see EVERY SINGLE POST where flying left and right (or rather up and down due to the nature of scrolling). And all because of a rumor, right? Did anyone hear the release date directly from the source? If I remember correctly, Instagram even issued a statement saying the equivalent of “chill out, bro.”
So what was all the insanity surrounding the possibility of a mere app update? I have a few theories:
- Instagram has turned us all into narcissists and we can’t bear the thought of even our ghost followers not having the chance to “like” our posts.
- Or humanity as a whole is completely averse to change.
In all the madness, did anyone once stop to think to themselves, “You know what, maybe Instagram is doing this with my best interests in mind?” I’m not a Business major, but I’m assuming a good company wants its customers/consumers to be happy. That seems like common sense. In all the craziness that was Instagram on Monday, there was also a large amount algorithm-protesting happening.
I realize that there are concerns included with an algorithm-based timeline: smaller brands fear they may not get as much exposure, every blogger’s social media strategy will have to be reevaluated, some might think Instagram is getting power hungry. But I also believe in not bashing something until it’s been tried and tested; so if Instagram thinks a new way of organizing our timelines will benefit us in the long run, can we at least hear them out?
Let’s not forget that Instagram is just Instagram, it’s just an app. A powerful one, but just an app. Technology changes every day, which is 90 percent of the fun of it. If social media is a game of Monopoly, this new timeline is just another property piece on the board. And in the end, the best and most engaging content wins.
Instagram icon illustration by David Litchfield. Collage made by me.