Instagram’s algorithm is still largely mysterious to everyone who uses the site: though it has said that it decides which posts are shown by using a wide range of different pieces of data, it’s not clear what exactly those pieces of data are.
That mystery has led to a series of conspiracy theories that attempt to explain what exactly is going on. And now Instagram has taken on one in particular: the idea that it is limiting posts so that only a certain proportion of followers can see them.
The company says that isn’t true: there is no limit to the number of people that see each post. But while it did give a vague explanation of how they are decided, it didn’t explain exactly how the algorithm works or how many people are likely to see any given post.
“We’ve noticed an uptick in posts about Instagram limiting the reach of your photos to 7% of your followers, and would love to clear this up,” the company wrote in a Twitter thread.
“What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.
“We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you’re following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.”
The tweets were met by a flurry of replies from users requesting a return to the chronological timeline. Before it introduced its algorithm, the feed showed all posts as they arrived, meaning there was no mystery over whether and when a certain post was being seen.
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