Instagram feeds are usually very personal things — a mixture of friends, celebrities, and brands that, for whatever reason, you have decided to follow on the social media giant and consequently pop their pics into your life on a daily basis. But in the same way that you depend on those you follow for entertainment and updates, some Instagram "influencers" with huge followings are paid to promote brands, and thus depend on your eyeballs for their livelihood. Then there are the career narcissists whose personal sense of worth is going to plummet if they get 1,000 fewer likes than usual on any selfie. And so with Instagram expected to ditch the chronological nature of its feed in the very near future, brands and celebrities are making a desperate play to ensure you don't miss a single iota of their content. And, consequently, there's been a backlash against their desperation.
A search for the hashtag #TurnMeOn reveals tens of thousands of posts imploring followers to enable notifications for that poster — meaning every time he or she posts sponsored pics your phone will ping you to let you know about that fresh advertising nugget. The fear is that in "[showing] the moments we believe you will care about the most," as an Instagram blog post announcing the change reads, the company will bury posts its algorithm doesn't deem relevant to you.
Instagram, for its part, hasn't explicitly stated when the changes will go into effect, or how they will exactly manifest this ad firm seems to believe it's tomorrow, March 29, but that is unconfirmed. Will it be like Twitter's "while you were away" feature, or more like its parent company Facebook's total reordering and tyrannical control of your feed? (Update: This writer's personal Instagram feed no longer displays in chronological order, and the reordering format appears similar to Facebook's). It stands to reason that the company doesn't want to upset users who'd rather see their friends' posts by filling their feeds with brands and attractive strangers they once decided to follow on a whim. Whatever the case, big brands and Insta-celebs alike aren't taking any chances.
Tomorrow is the big change in Instagram. Instead of seeing the most recent posts, you will see the "top post". To not miss any of our posts, don't forget to turn on notifications ! #turnmeon #turnonnotifications #instagramchanges #spiritadvertising #spirit #creative #creativead #creativeadvertising #followus
Others are calling BS on the entire thing, and a #turnmeon backlash has already begun to foment.
The thirst on Instagram over turning on post notifications is 2 real— Richie Nakano⛈ (@linecook) March 28, 2016
In response to the growing conniption, Instagram tweeted out a call for everyone to just chill — noting that the company will be sure to let everyone know the exact date it intends to destroy its users' experience.
We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016
If you do in fact wish to enable notifications for anyone you follow, it's pretty simple: Just click the ellipsis in the upper-right corner of the account in question, and select "turn on post notifications." That's it, you're done. With the crisis semi-averted, you can now go back to being guaranteed your daily dose of sponsored content.