Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

There's an interesting lesson to be found in the backlash to changes being implemented by Instagram. The photo sharing site has traditionally employed a reverse-chronological listing of recent photos. This way, users could see everything. The change employs an algorithm to select the photos deems 'most interesting' to the user, and displays those. Gone is the serendipity of seeing, well, whatever. Users were outraged. Now celebrities and people who use Instagram are urging users to 'turn on notifications' to ensure they don't miss a photo. But user's don't want that either. "I'm tired of everyone telling me what to do on Instagram today," tweeted one US-based user. Choice, autonomy, diversity... who knew this would be what people want in a social network?

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 6:32 p.m.