This new Instagram feature sounds a lot like TikTok's FYP


by Roisin Lanigan
20 August 2020, 10:44am

While we’re still reeling from the introduction of reels -- sorry, I’m genuinely so sorry -- Instagram is already out the gate with the roll out of yet another new feature which sounds, how shall we say, vaguely familiar? Introducing: suggested posts.

The new feature is essentially a neverending expansion on your current Instagram feed, with a series of “suggested posts”, from users you don’t follow, which appear once you’re done scrolling through posts from those you do. While for the past few years Instagram has simply shown a message to users who have reached the end of their feed -- oh the shame of “completing Instagram” whilst mindlessly scrolling on a hungover Sunday -- now we’ll simply have the option of even more content. Endless, endless content.

The new feature is separate to Instagram’s explore page, which shows users “adjacent content” to what they already engage with, says Instagram’s Head of Product, Julian Gutman. Suggested posts will instead be grid posts -- rather than IGTV or Reels -- related to the content they already see on their feed, and will include ads too. This sounds, in theory, very similar to the explore page, but we’ll bear with you for now, Julian.

“I think for us this really came from a vision a couple years ago around people really seeing their feed as a place for their interests, and with the improvement in machine learning and our ability to kind of make it easier for you to see some more of those posts that are on Instagram every day, and really bring that personalised relevance to you,” Julian said in a statement yesterday. “So we just want to make it really easy for people to see that [relevant content] when they get to the end of their feed. That’s really the motivation here, make it easier for you to go deeper on your interest.”

While this all sounds very familiar -- it’s the FYP for me -- to anyone already endlessly scrolling through neverending content on TikTok, it’s a huge step away from Instagram’s previous stance on uber curated, mindful social media use. The times, they do be changing.