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Instagram reveals the secret sauce that feeds its algorithm



Instagram is cooled by the decision he made two years ago to abandon the chronological feed in favor of an algorithm. The oldest way to show you the actions on your watch list does not come back.

However, since the change, the algorithm has been a mystery. The actions appear in your feed without rhyme or apparent reason, and Instagram has not explained exactly how those low profile decisions are made … until now.

During a recent media tour at its San Francisco headquarters, the Facebook-owned company presented the various factors that are weighed before an Instagram post appears on their personal feed (h / t TechCrunch). These are three main considerations: interest, current affairs and relationship.

Interest is the most subject to interpretation; the algorithm classifies the publications that could show you based on your past interactions (or lack of them) with similar content. The novelty is, literally, how new the publication is; Something that has just been shared is more likely to come to the surface than something that was shared weeks ago. The relationship is a measure of your interactions with different accounts, through comments, tagging and the like.

The algorithm also weighs a trio of secondary considerations when filling your feed: how often do you watch Instagram, with the intention of showing you the best messages since your last visit; how many people you follow, so you're not seeing the same person's posts all the time if your follow-up is deep; and how much time normally passes browsing.

Instagram continues to listen to the comments of those who wish to see the chronological information brought back, but it is not in the company's current plans. The algorithm is here to stay because it works. Users are more engaged and, according to Instagram, they are seeing more publications from their closest followers, be they people or brands, than they did before.

More than that, for all the comments received regarding the move for an algorithmic feed, no criticism has been highlighted.

"As we've gone deeper and tried to understand why people ask for chronological data, it's not universal," Instagram's chief food product manager Julian Gutman told Recode. "It's not just one reason why people want chrono, and I think what we're really trying to understand is what the different frustrations people have and how we can incorporate that into their personalized feeding experience."

Then there you have it. Whether or not you agree, the Instagram data suggests that the algorithm is giving you a better experience than ever before. And this new impulse for greater transparency seems to be motivated by the desire to explain exactly how and why that is the case.

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