A new Instagram update makes the app more addictive with endless scrolling

Instagram on a OnePlus 6
Instagram on a OnePlus 6 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram will now suggest new content to users once they exhaust updates from people and hashtags they follow.
  • Previously, Instagram would warn users when they used the app too much as part of a digital wellbeing initiative
  • This update seems reminiscent of TikTok's popular For You page, which worked on the same principle.

Apparently done with digital wellbeing, a new Instagram feature will make it easier fot you to stay on the app perpetually. From today on, once you run out of content from accounts and hashtags you follow on your feed, Instagram will now let you keep scrolling indefinitely through content its algorithms think you'll like.

Prior to this update, once you had viewed all content on your feed, an Instagram warning would pop up and let you know that you'd seen all the new posts over the past few days. The Verge reports that it'll still keep that message, but will also offer you a new option to check out more stuff you may like.

Speaking to The Verge, Julian Gutman, head of product at Instagram Home, said:

I think for us this really came from a vision a couple years ago around people really seeing 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 personalized relevance to you.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.

It's reminiscent of TikTok's For You Page, which shows you content according to what you engage with. I'm not sure it's going to be as eerily accurate. Facebook's probably hoping that turns out to be the case, whether it says so explicitly or not.

Instagram last week also rolled out a new authenticity check to make sure more real people are using their accounts. If Facebook has reason to suspect an account holder is a bot or engaged in suspicious (read: bot-like) activity, it would request the account holder to verify their identity confidentially via government ID. If an account holder can't or won't do so Instagram says their content may be penalized and their account disabled.

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Michael Allison