If you've been on Instagram at all today, you've seen a lot of images that say things like: "Changes are coming! Turn on post notifications to ensure seeing our future posts in your feed." Don't panic. Changes are coming to Instagram, but it's not the end of your favorite social app as you know it.
Instagram is simply updating it's algorithm, transitioning from a reverse chronological order to an algorithmically curated order, much like your Facebook timeline is already. Basically, your Insta-feed will be sorted based on your own behavior, showing more of the accounts you like, comment, and linger on and less of the accounts you quickly scroll past.
"The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post," reads an Instagram blog post. "As we begin, we're focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order."
Hypothetically, your user experience will be improved. Brands and bloggers, however, are worried about decreased visibility. So, in an attempt to maintain popularity, they are asking followers to turn on notifications for their account. This will not ensure that they continue to show up on your feed, but it will give you notifications every time the account posts an image. If this is what you want, please proceed. But we assume you'd rather not have Instagram notifications blowing up your phone.
Instead of turning on notifications, we recommend simply engaging with the content as you usually would. Just like, comment on, or stop to look at the images you'd like to see more of. That's it. The more you interact with the accounts you like, the more you will see of them.
Dogs of Instagram has it right.