Instagram, one of the leading social networking platforms, has recently announced the testing of new features aimed at giving users more control over their content preferences and enhancing transparency for creators.

These updates are designed to improve user experience and foster a greater understanding of how the app’s algorithms and ranking processes work. One of the key features being tested is an enhanced control option for recommended posts. Users will now have the ability to select an “Interested” button when they come across recommended content that piques their interest. This action will inform the app of their preference and lead to the display of more similar content in the future. This feature complements existing personalization controls on Instagram, including the “Not Interested” option for suggested posts and the ability to temporarily pause recommendations. Furthermore, Instagram is experimenting with transparency notifications specifically tailored to creators. These notifications will provide insights into why certain types of content, such as Reels, may have limited reach due to a watermark. While the exact nature of the watermarks is not specified, it is likely referring to the abundance of TikTok content being reposted as Reels on Instagram.

By offering creators this valuable information, Instagram aims to help them understand why their content may not be reaching non-followers as intended. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared these updates in a blog post focused on increasing transparency surrounding the platform’s algorithms and ranking processes. Addressing concerns about shadowbanning, a term used to describe hidden content without clear explanation, Mosseri emphasized Instagram’s commitment to supporting creators and facilitating their growth. He clarified that reaching a wider audience aligns with Instagram’s business interests, and the platform does not suppress content to encourage ad purchases.

Instead, Instagram aims to enhance engagement by promoting the most engaging content while also providing advertising opportunities to others. Mosseri acknowledged that users’ concerns about shadowbanning highlight the need for Instagram to improve its efforts in helping people understand their account’s performance.

In December, the company expanded its Account Status hub, providing businesses and creators with a clearer understanding of whether their content is eligible for recommendation to non-followers in various sections of the app, such as Explore, Reels, and Feed Recommendations. Instagram plans to introduce additional transparency tools to the Account Status feature in the future. The blog post also delved into the intricacies of content ranking across different sections of the app. In the Feed, posts are ranked based on user activity, such as likes, shares, saves, and comments, as well as the popularity and perceived interest of the account that posted the content. Stories are ranked based on viewing frequency, engagement, and the overall relationship between the user and the account.

The Explore page prioritizes posts based on popularity, user interaction history, and interactions with the content creator. Reels, on the other hand, are ranked according to user preferences, including liked and saved Reels, overall Reel popularity, and user interaction with the account. Last year, Instagram implemented a change to its ranking system to prioritize original content over reposted content in areas like the Reels tab and feed. This change has proven successful, with Meta reporting a remarkable 24% growth in time spent on Instagram since the introduction of Reels, thanks to AI-powered content recommendations.

These recent updates demonstrate Instagram’s ongoing commitment to empowering its users with greater control over their content experiences and providing creators with the tools and transparency necessary for success. By refining its algorithms and ranking processes, Instagram aims to ensure that users’ preferences are accurately represented, while also fostering an engaging and thriving community of creators on its platform.

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