Instagram is trying to increasingly tailor its content to its users. With today’s version 7.20 update, it is adding a video channel to its “Explore” grid.
It’s starting with U.S. Instagram users, who will see a personalized channel called “Videos You Might Like” that is an aggregated collection of videos that are based on a user’s past “Likes.” This is the same process as the previously existing “Explore” section, which recommends posts from people who users do not follow. And, although personalized recommendations are only getting better, Instagram has instilled a backup plan in the instance that they miss the mark; they are also adding an option for users to select “See Fewer Posts Like This.”
Instagram is increasingly focusing on both video and personalization.
Earlier this month, the Facebook-owned platform shared that it would extend the length of video posts from 15 to 60 seconds. Some users such as Selena Gomez, Eva Chen, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing shared examples of the longer videos, which also allow for the ability to combine multiple clips from a camera roll for iOS users only.
According to Instagram, in the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent. It has recently featured video collections from awards shows and fashion week, and introduced capabilities such as Boomerang and Hyperlapse to add to the sharing options.
Instagram also said it would begin testing adjustments to the order in which posts appear in a user’s home feed. While Instagram started as — and still currently is — chronological, it has begun testing a change that would first show posts that a user is more inclined to like, based on past behavior. This move, which hasn’t been widely implemented yet, was an effort to make sure that users don’t miss important posts as more people join the platform.
These changes come after the finding that users miss, on average, 70 percent of their feeds. In a post, Instagram stated that as the platform has grown, “it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.”
Twitter and Facebook have also done the same. Twitter created a feature called “while you were away” that shows posts that are likely to be most of interest to a user when someone first logs on. In October, Twitter introduced something similar to Instagram’s “Explore” tab, called “Moments,” which aggregates and makes sense of the increasing amount of content being shared daily. “Moments” is chosen by Twitter employees, and will “tell a story” through tweets (including images, videos, Vines and gifs) of the top 30 or so stories of the day, in addition to other tabs for topics like “Entertainment” or “Sports.” Unlike Trending Topics, these “moments” will not be automated or guided purely through hashtags.
As adoption of these platforms expands far beyond early adopters and social savvy “influencers,” expect to see more changes like these that attempt to make sense of the noise.