In the land of selfies and hashtags, the competition to win over followers and garner likes is at a grotesque new high. Some refer to this reinvented popularity contest as a fleeting pastime, and others call it a deadly dose of narcissism consuming millennials by the post. (Follow me @urbina_jonathan, hair flip.)
Whatever the case may be, it has become quite obvious that people are in love with their cameras, themselves and the app used to share their most photogenic moments — Instagram.
For years now, Instagram has been the creme of the social media crop. Hundreds of millions of people log in everyday to keep up with the Kardashians, stalk exes and, of course, scroll through countless images of brunches with #foodporn in the caption. Yes, Instagram can easily be called the holy grail of amateur photography, but unfortunately, it appears to not be as sacred as one might think.
Earlier this week, Instagram feeds were flooded with photos adorned with the text “turn on notifications.” The photo- freakout came as a direct response to Instagram’s announcement to change the algorithm of their feed to be more similar to that of Facebook. Instead of the feed starting with the most recent gram, the plan is to have it start with photos most relevant to the user.
In short: people are not happy about it. Many users fear the change will hide their posts from feeds that could produce potential likes. The reality is, this may be true. As of right now, no one (not even the minds at Instagram) know what this change will bring. In the past, Facebook and Twitter have made similar changes and have faired quite well through their adjustments with only light criticism across the board. However, Instagram is much different. Messing with users’ number of likes is not something that will go over well for the platform.
At this point, the only thing that is for certain is that begging followers to “turn on notifications” will not be a saving grace in this Insta-game. Turning on notifications for an account allows for text-like alerts for every post by said account. The idea that followers will be subscribed to countless accounts seems like a recipe for a notification-disaster and therefore is a no-go.
That said, the only way through this social media purgatory is to wait it out. Over the next few months, Instagram will be making a slew of changes (including 60-second videos) that will change the way many users interact with the app. For now it seems best to stay vigilant and test the new updates as they become available with a critical eye. After all, worse comes to worst, it is never too late to pack up and move over to Snapchat.