“It’s hard to trust what you don’t understand. We want to do a better job of explaining how Instagram works,” is how Adam Mosseri, the boss of the Facebook-owned app, began his latest blog post. It’s part of a planned series that will “shed more light on how Instagram’s technology works and how it impacts the experiences that people have across the app”.
Clearly, this will be a carefully-managed opening up, striving not to give away the true secrets to competitors. But it promises some interesting insights into how Instagram’s algorithms (Mosseri is keen to scotch the idea of ‘the algorithm’ – a single one governing everything) work.
For example: “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo,” he wrote. “The more likely you are to take an action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you’ll see the post.”