Instagram Is Turning Into Facebook

Katherine Bindley, writing for the WSJ:

I understand why Instagram is adopting Facebook features: They work. But for years I logged into Instagram and enjoyed it more than Facebook. I fear a day when I wake up, open my phone and can no longer tell the difference between the two.

Regarding ads:

I can now make it through three new posts on Instagram before seeing an ad. After that, I get one every six to eight posts.

Instagram’s spokeswoman confirmed ad load is up: “We’ve been able to do this by improving the quality and the relevance of the ads.”

I really do enjoy using Instagram less these days, and it’s precisely for the same reasons I never signed up for Facebook. My biggest complaint is the algorithmic timeline — I truly miss the old timeline where I just saw photos from the people I follow in the order in which they were posted. I’m sure Instagram has detailed metrics showing that the new timeline increases “engagement”, but I’m equally certain that it’s led me to check the app less frequently.

But I still don’t see ads in my Instagram feed. Literally none. This might be because I don’t have a Facebook account, or might be because my Instagram account is flagged in some sort of hidden way because of my prominence from here at Daring Fireball, or might be a bug. This has been a years-long mystery to me (that I probably shouldn’t complain about).

Thursday, 1 February 2018