Instagram working on new ‘Favorites’ feature to rank your close friends

Instagram is working on a new feature called “Favorites.” This one is being developed to work the same as a feature already available on Facebook that ranks people you want to see posts first on your timeline.

According to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, posts from your favorites are shown higher in the feed. As for now, this “Favorites” feature will appear in the user’s settings with a tab with the same name. Then, users can choose how many followers they want to add to this section.

If it works the same way as Facebook’s, people will be able to designate up to 30 friends to the “Favorites” section.

While Instagram hasn’t yet added this feature, there are other tweaks that users can take advantage of to see their favorite followers first. For example, turning on notifications for some people is a great way to better rank a friend.

The other option, more obvious, is to interact with this person: like and comment on their posts, talk to them via direct messages, etc.

Recently, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, explained how Instagram’s algorithm works. He says the app focuses on posts from people you follow. With the information about what was posted, the people who made those posts, and user’s preference, the app find “signals.” These are the signals that Instagram uses in order of importance:

  • Information about the post. These are signals both about how popular a post is – think how many people have liked it – and more mundane information about the content itself, like when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video, and what location, if any, was attached to it. 
  • Information about the person who posted. This helps us get a sense of how interesting the person might be to you, and includes signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks. 
  • Your activity. This helps us understand what you might be interested in and includes signals such as how many posts you’ve liked. 
  • Your history of interacting with someone. This gives us a sense of how interested you are generally in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

Not only that, but Instagram is also working on a similar approach to Twitter’s Super Follows feature with Exclusive Stories, as you can learn more about it here.

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