Instagram has some bad news for those who've been holding out for a chronological-based news feed: the company simply won't bring it back.

Amid backlash over Instagram's confusing news feed algorithm — or in other words, how it chooses what to show to a user — the company assures that all 800 million of its users are seeing 90 percent of their friends' posts and spending more time on the app.

Yet the company has never truly explained exactly how this new algorithm works. Until now, that is. Instagram just held a press meeting at its new offices in San Francisco to talk about how the app curates and selects what posts a particular user is going to see.

As TechCrunch reports, the following comprise Instagram's main feed ranking criteria: interest, recency, and relationship.


Instagram tries to predict how much a user is going to like a particular post, and it will rank the most important ones high, determined by past activity on related content, plus some machine learning-related technology that's being done on the post itself.


Recency is just a fancy word for the post's age. Instagram prioritizes newer posts instead of older ones, obviously.


Finally, Instagram determines how well the user is related to the author of a post, meaning the people one has interacted with multiple times in the past will be ranked higher up. Interaction includes commenting, being tagged, or tagging someone in a photo.

Beyond those three main factors, Instagram also considers some additional signals that may influence overall ranking. One of those is frequency or how often one opens the app. Another is following, in which Instagram tries to pick from a wider breadth of authors if a user follows a lot of users. Finally, there's usage, in which Instagram digs deeper into its catalog once it detects the user is spending a lot of time on the app.

At the meeting, Instagram clarified that it isn't planning on bringing back the old algorithm, which is bad news for a lot of users that definitely want to see it return. That being said, the company says it's listening to users who don't like the current algorithm. Instagram busted a lot more myths during the meeting, including whether it hides posts in the feed, favors photos over videos, or prioritizes those who use its Stories feature over non-Stories users.

Would you like the old algorithm back? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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