Some suspected this after observing some pretty significant clues. It’s now proven, and validated by Jill Nussbaum, head of Instagram design, and Julian Gutman, product manager, who unveil some information on the Instagram news feed in an interview with our Mashable colleagues.
Have you ever wondered why some friends’ posts appear at the top of your Instagram feed? It’s not just because you liked their Insta messages many times. Your activity on Facebook also influences the priority content of your feeds.
Now that our Instagram feed is no longer listed chronologically, it uses an algorithm that prioritizes the content of people we are close to.
According to Jill Nussbaum, “One of the main reasons (for which we changed the newsfeed) is that people were missing the publications that mattered to them. Thus, before the introduction of the ranking in 2016, it lacked 70% content. More than half of this content was made up of friends and family members. ”
In 2016, Instagram dropped the chronological order and introduced the “flow ranking” which gives priority to the messages that are “most important to you”.
So, how does Instagram know exactly what matters to you? Well, it uses machine learning to analyze your data from your Instagram activity.
“Newsfeed ranking is based on machine learning, a technology that uses historical data to make predictions about the future, and the way we use machine learning in wire rankings is to analyze the historical use of Instagram by people to predict which of your posts will be most relevant to you. Says Julian Gutman.
Instagram and Facebook hand in hand to better profile you
A machine learning that adapts and evolves constantly over time depending on how you use Instagram. This means that your feed will continue to adapt to new friends or new interest for pre-existing friends.
“We use a lot of signals to determine the messages that are most relevant to you,” adds Gutman. Some of these “signals” include things like “the likelihood that you are interested in such content”, in addition to the date on which the content was posted, and the distance that separates you from the author of the content. “We use Facebook data to tailor people’s experience in two or three ways.” When asked about this, Julian Gutman did not elaborate on these signals, but said that being friends with someone on Facebook is “one of the factors that helps you understand your relationship.”
One more proof of the data porosity between Facebook and Instagram. But we suspected a little.