Today I've realized that Instagram doesn't sort posts by timestamp, but instead by some weird-ass "importance" algorithm.

That finally explains why I keep missing posts from my friends, thinking there's no new content, because some "influencer's" photo keeps blocking the top of my feed for hours or even days.

You literally had one job Instagram...

@fribbledom it's called algorithmic timestamping or something like that. IT guesses what you are interested in so that you can be better targetted with advertisement. That is one of the concepts sought to be overcome by the federated systems.


Well, it clearly fails. I've seen that post, why keep it at the top the next time I visit the site, when you're actively hiding new content below it.

It's not even in Instagram's interest, I would imagine. Had I known there's new photos below that old post, I may have spent more time on their site.

@fribbledom I can guess at things, but that's all it would be. I have read a lot about how it works, and what to do to get your stuff where you want it. I am just not sure it is worth the effort as the consumer. I get disheartened when some model follows me and she has 1 post and 2000 followers, while i was busting it to get content out and struggle around 200...

@fribbledom @Absinthe Time You must be joking. They don't have an option to sort them by posted date something?


You'd think, but at least on desktop/browser I can't find it. Maybe it's available in the app?


@fribbledom @Absinthe > Spend more time on their site

According to some people, this is actually their intention, maybe so they can push more ads before you found what you want, and maybe to boost reported engagement times.

@gedvondur @fribbledom But the algorithm knows you care more about your uncle’s cousin’s neighbor’s girlfriend’s Trump commentary than you care about that person you have had drinks with every Friday for fifteen years.

@fribbledom I wonder how easy it is to manipulate that algorithm :think_bread:

@fribbledom yeah it’s a shitshow. Facebook (and by proxy, IG) are designed to be a confusing mess to drive up “engagement” numbers. Basically confused grandparents open the app and start swiping and tapping looking for the pictures of their grandparents that were just RIGHT THERE and these all count towards ad views, or something.

@fribbledom if everything were sorted chronologically, then as soon as you see an old post, you know you’ve seen everything, so you close the app. If they use their algorithm, you never know when you’ve seen everything, so you stay on the app longer as you scroll down for new content, and therefore see more ads.

At least that’s my theory.


Oh, I'm a big pixelfed advocate, no doubt. However that doesn't automatically convince all my friends to make the switch.

The old dilemma, I guess.

@fribbledom I for one vehemently hate all such algorithms used by Twitter, Facebook, Google, Reddit, etc. If IT taught me anything it's that my own personal biases are boring and reinforcing them means missing out on a bunch of rando weird fun stuff. This is why I prefer the unfiltered Mastodon and usually browser Reddit logged out.

@fribbledom That's one of the top reasons I like libre networks like Mastodon :-)

@fribbledom This is part of why I get frustrated with such shenanigans which the big social media things do. I don't *really* want to have to try to outsmart something that *insists* that it knows better than I do, about what I want.

@fribbledom It *is* frustrating when it's complicated to get it to listen, but it's better than it not listening really at all...

@fribbledom Twitter is doing the same. And I switch back to „time“ every view days, as long as it is possible.😖

I mean, it is their one job and they are doing it well. Unfortunately, that job is getting your eyeballs in front of as many ads and paid promotions as they can. You are not Instagram's customer despite what they pretend.


Not sure, really. I feel like the only thing they achieve is me getting off that site very, very quickly again. I'd probably see more ads if I'd scroll through my friends' posts.

@fribbledom you thought instagram was about getting you your friends content? Nah, it is a marketing platform, son of course you see marketing shit first.

Instagram and Facebook use the same algorithm. And that's why I have two instagram accounts. A personal one for friends only and one to promote my stuff and to follow small shops and "influencers"

@fribbledom That's the hip new way to screw users, YouTube and Twitter do it by default. 👌

@fribbledom It's been that way for quite a long while. I only use it to post artwork I've done, and it's the most horrible experience I have.

I believe algorithms don't ONLY serve us content that we might be interested in, but serves us content that is profitable to the service owner.


Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!