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Why I’m Not Turning My Instagram Notifications On (And You Shouldn’t Either)


If your Instagram feed is anything like mine, it’s completely cluttered with profiles begging you to turn on notifications for them in anticipation of the new algorithm coming out. We’re doing the opposite and have asked all our users to NOT turn on notifications for Freshly Picked. Turning on notifications is like getting a text from your aunt every time she posts picture of a blood blister or her cat (no thanks). No one wants a million notifications blowing up their phone at all hours of the day. Oh and by the way, turning on notifications doesn’t even mean you won’t be affected by the algorithm like everyone seems to believe. It will eventually affect everyone’s feeds no matter what. So before you freak out, let’s back up a second and talk about what the algorithm really means for you or your brand, and why it’s actually a good thing.

Instead of your feed being chronological posts, Instagram’s new algorithm will prioritize your feed for you by showing profiles that you’ve interacted with most at the top, and least at the bottom. This is going to let you to customize your feed by being shown what you want to see first so you won’t miss it, and keeping those blood blisters at the bottom so you will. Plus this way all your favorite stuff will be waiting at the top for you no matter what time of day you browse.

Here’s why I like it as a brand and a user:

  • We can reach specific members of our audience that actually want to see our content, and not bombard people that don’t interact with us as much.
  • We’ll be able to tell which of our content is good or not. Now you, the audience, have the power to vote with your likes and comments on which content you prefer. This means as a brand we'll be able to deliver better content based on this feedback.
  • The explore page will be more relevant to you, and you'll be able to see more of what you want to see and less of what you don't want to see, including spammy stuff.

All in all, I believe you should be be able to interact with brands on your terms, and not because a notification is telling you to. The algorithm is going to slowly take over all of our feeds, but as long as we’re educated on what it ACTUALLY means, it could be really great. At the end of the day, as a brand, what it all comes down to is creating great content that earns your audience’s interaction so you can keep growing, and an Instagram update isn’t going to change that. So keep calm, and like and comment on.