Here’s an interesting struggle in Instagram’s constant effort to stop people from sharing posts with feeds in Stories again.
Over the past few weeks, amid escalating tensions in Palestine, various Instagram users have noticed that their posts are not seen in the app, which some have equated with a form of censorship, implying that Instagram deliberately wants to limit pro-Palestinian voices in the app. Among those who expressed concern in this regard were celebrities Mia Khalifa and Bella Hadid
Instagram has strongly denied any form of censorship in this regard, but has identified a problem affecting the reach of such content – a recent change to the algorithm to reduce the reach of feed posts that have been re-shared in Stories.
As he reported BBC:
“The app, in its ‘story’ feature, favored the original content over existing, re-shared posts, but will now provide them with equal treatment,” he said.
As noted, Instagram has tested various ways to stop re-sharing feed posts in Stories, even so far completely remove the option for some users.
Like Instagram explained to SMT in January:
“We saw from the research that people would rather see the original photos and videos in Stories than the people they care about. The goal of our test is to better understand how people feel about this type of content and ultimately improve the Stories experience. “
Instagram recently further expanded on this, explaining that users often have so many stories at the top of the feed view that they can’t reach them every day, which is why prioritizing original posts makes sense, ensuring users see the most relevant, unique updates as opposed to replicated content from their main feed.
Which makes some sense, but now leads to unwanted side effects.
As he explained Instagram:
“[The change has] made people believe that we suppress stories on certain topics or points of view. We want to be really clear – that is not the case. This applied to any post that is shared again in the stories, no matter what it is about. “
In fact, Instagram has also noticed a similar concern about re-sharing posts around other recent events in various regions.
So while Instagram intended to improve the Stories experience and stop users from simply seeing the duplication of their main feed within Stories, it also, unknowingly, eventually reduced the reach of posts around important events and issues. So now Instagram is introducing that change, which will ensure that re-shared feed posts still get the same amount of reach as any other content from Stories.
For now, at least.
Although Instagram has taken a step back in this particular case, it will undoubtedly continue to look for ways to stop people from sharing posts with feeds in their Stories again, because as Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri noted earlier, the sore point for the app is very clearly highlighted.
Instagram is already experimenting new tags for feed posts when shared with Stories and new Stories re-sharing labels, making them more prominent. Somewhere among these experiments, there may be a solution, but currently Instagram hasn’t balanced properly, and algorithmic penalties are unlikely, given that there is no automated content detection that could ensure it also doesn’t inadvertently silence user voices.
It will also be interesting to see if similar concerns apply to reels, s reach the limits that are now in force for posts involving ‘word tags’, in an effort to limit the re-sharing of TikTok snippets.
Yes, adding a word tag to a video will mean, on average, less reach. People complained a lot in the early days that they had a bad experience.
– Adam Mosseri ???? (@mosseri) May 26, 2021
There are still obstacles to the platform, but the solution is not clear. But it may soon come out with another option and limit the reach of reshared feed posts in Stories.
We will keep you informed of any progress.