YOUR activity on Facebook affects how the posts in your Instagram feed are ordered, The Sun can reveal.
It means that if you’re a Facebook stalker, regularly liking or commenting on someone’s posts, that person’s snaps will also be prioritised for you on Instagram.
When Instagram first launched in 2010, photos and videos would appear in the order that they were posted.
This « reverse chronological » style meant that you’d always see the very latest posts.
Then in July 2016, Instagram changed this for an algorithm-based system that ranked posts based on how much you were likely to enjoy them – taking them out of time order.
Lots of factors affect how these posts are ranked now, including what you do on Facebook.
Speaking to The Sun, Instagram’s Julian Gutman confirmed that your Facebook activity helps shape your Instagram feed.
« We use Facebook’s to improve people’s experience across [Facebook and Instagram] in a couple of ways.
« One is ad relevance, so making sure you see the most relevant ads, one of them is spam and negative behaviour on the platform, and then also showing you relevant content on Instagram as well. »
Julian told us that being Facebook friends with someone means you’re more likely to see content from them on Instagram.
« It’s one of the factors in terms of understanding the relationship, » he told us.
Julian declined to talk exactly about which activities on Facebook affect your Instagram feed, however.
« We generally don’t break out all the specifics about what the signals are and how they’re weighted, » he said.
« I think generally you can think about it as different ways you might express your intent in terms of how much that person matters to you, and that’s sort of how we we look at it both across Instagram and Facebook.
« We kind of learn over time which signals are more important than others. »
Instagram – the key facts
Here’s what you need to know…
- Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos
- It was created back in October 2010 as an iPhone-exclusive app
- A separate version for Android devices was released 18 months later
- The app rose to popularity thanks to its filters system, which lets you quickly edit your photos with cool effects
- When it first launched, users could only post square 1:1 ratio images, but that rule was changed in 2015
- In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock
- In 2018, some analysts believe the app is worth closer to $100billion
- In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
- And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
The Sun later clarified these details with Instagram – a spokesperson confirmed that both liking and commenting on Facebook will affect your Instagram feed order.
« We use signals from your activity in Facebook to improve your experience in Instagram, and vice versa, » a spokesperson told us.
« For example, if you interact [e.g. like or comment] regularly with someone’s content in Facebook, the machine learning technology will take that to mean that person is important to you and will therefore show you their content high up in your feed. »
When Facebook-owned Instagram first changed the ranking system, it proved controversial.
Users said they felt like they were missing out on posts – because they were being shown old content rather than newer photos and videos.
But Instagram’s Jill Nussman said that having a chronological feed « didn’t make sense, it wasn’t serving our community ».
« People were missing 70% of the content in their feed, » she explained.
« Over half of that content was ‘friends and family’ posts. »
According to Jill, the ranking system makes sure you « don’t miss posts that are important to you ».
She added that lots of different factors affect the ranking system, including your interests, the timeliness of the posts, and your relationship to the poster.
Did you realise your Facebook activity affected how your Instagram feed is ordered? Let us know in the comments!