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Instagram to let people announce they are ‘not interested’ as it continues to push algorithmic posts

·2-min read
 (dpa/AFP via Getty Images)
(dpa/AFP via Getty Images)

Instagram will let people say they are not interested in specific posts, as it continues to push the idea of having feeds decided by algorithm.

The new updates are intended as ways of making it easier for people to communicate what they are interested in, according to a blog post from Instagram owner Meta.

But they also appear to be a way of improving the kinds of content that are shown by its recommendations, which have proven controversial in recent weeks.

In its newer updates, Instagram has been slowly moving towards more recommendations in its feeds. More and more, it is pushing new posts from people that users don’t follow into their feeds, for instance.

Those changes appear to be an attempt to take on some of the success of TikTok, which has had great success from its “For You Page” and the recommendations that arise from its algorithm. Instagram has borrowed heavily from TikTok for other features, such as its “Reels”.

But those recommendations have been rejected by users. In July, a viral petition was signed by hundreds of thousands of people and received support from celebrities including the Kardashians – who all demanded that Meta “make Instagram Instagram again”, by rolling back changes including those recommendations.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri said that it would be temporarily slowing down the introduction of some of those features but that it was still focused on moving towards automated recommendations.

The new tools add new ways to make those recommendations better.

The first is a button that reads “Not interested”, which can be used on the explore page. That will then immediately hide those posts and refrain from recommending similar ones in the future.

Instagram is also adding a new option to hide suggested posts that include certain words or phrases, so that people can tell the app what is not relevant or if they have moved on from being interested in a certain topic. That, too, borrows heavily from a recent TikTok feature.