A Group of Friends’ True Reaction of Instagram’s Algorithmic Change (via a gmail chain)

Actual emails between a group of friends about the Instgram’s controversial change.

MICHELE (In an email chain to 9 friends):

— SUBJECT: new instagram update

— BODY: Michael, what are your thoughts?

MICHAEL (Reply All…duh):

— Thanks for asking.

I have a lot of things on my mind regarding this controversial update that could potential change the social media game and Instagram’s place in it.

ENGAGEMENT + GROWTH: First off, I’m so curious to see how it effects engagement on my own personal profiles and brand profiles. (Not to pat myself on the back or anything), but because I have 10K+ followers does this mean I will grow faster and will my audience become more engaged. My thought is that people with 1K or less followers will have much higher engagement on photos, but not necessarily see growth and people like me will see growth, but stagnant engagement.

TIMING “RULES:” I’m assuming this update will also effect the time people post. Will this finally put an end to people saying “Is this a good time to post?” I certainly hope it will. Timing will still matter, but definitely not as much.

CONTENT: Will this be the end to generic selfies? I think it may. Now content is going to have to be more relevant and and eye-catching. I think that Instagram will de-prioritize BASIC selfies (unless the person is stupid hot..cough cough @isnathan cough cough). This particularly could be an exciting change.

LASTLY ADS: This is going to FUCK SHIT UP for us as consumers. We are going to be seeing many more ads because everything will be out of order and we are going to be more comfortable seeing random shit at random times and they are going to serve us more ads and make more money and that is a little sad… FML, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Love, HOFF



Michael is absolutely right. You’ll likely start to see an ad in your second/third slot and with a higher frequency similar to what Facebook/Twitter are already doing.

From a personal standpoint I don’t mind because I find that when I go to Facebook, I trust that I’m going to see what I need to see (i.e. the memory post Michael posted but didn’t tag us in this morning, thanks Facebook for the ranking).


Agreed — in the end I like it.

Think about it. I use Facebook and DON’T use Twitter as much on my personal account. Is the reason for that because Facebook is smart AF and is showing me the content I want? Probably.

@Jori, same page.


Michael, This response was amazing. Interesting, funny, and insightful.


Oh em gee thx.


I’m nervous for how much more time I’m going to spend on Instagram. At least now I know when I haven’t seen the X most recent pics on my feed, but now I’m going to have to seek them out.


  1. How will Instagram know about deprioritizing generic selfies? Facial recognition?
  2. Will we have to start posting more hashtags/tagging more things to get to the top? Do you think that’ll be considered spam? Or is it just a matter of who from your followers you engage with?
  3. As for ads, do you think Instagram will start decrease the spacing between ads? It’s been pretty good so far, and I’ve noticed the ads change from time to time (i.e. if I see a clothing ad between two pics, a few hours later I’ll see another ad between those same pics). Kind of hoping that stays the same.

SAM (In response to Eric)

  1. I think this will be based more on whose photos you particularly like Eric. If you happen to like every one of Michaels “Tongue Out” selfies, it’ll still show you those, because it knows you like em.
  2. I still got the impression it’s only showing you photos from people you follow — but it’ll base which photos to show first, based on what you like…is that not the casE?
  3. I would think so. The reason they change ads is because they need to serve a certain amount of impressions for each ad, so if you already seen a Calvin Klein Ad, it’ll probably want to show you a different Ad the next time around, since your impression for CK has already been counted. But, to Jori’s point, I bet you’ll see ads more often, and the ads you see will be based off of who you follow and what type of ads you’ve interacted with in the past.


It’s got to be less about the selfies and more about the account itself, right? Ie some accounts are more likely to post interior design posts or selfies or models (duh). If they have the software to pick apart the content of a picture — that’s MIND BOGGLING and INCREDIBLE.


We are the future. This email chain should literally be published.


Why not publish it….?


Someone get this on Medium stat.


On it.

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