Instagram is changing the way it showcases content after being accused of suppressing pro-Palestinian messages during the recent Gaza conflict.
The app had favored original content in its “stories” feature over existing, re-shared posts, but will now give them equal treatment, a spokesperson for Instagram said.
The current system had a “bigger impact than expected” on some types of posts.
During the recent Gaza conflict, social media platforms were heavily used to spread messages of support on both sides.
Many pro-Palestinian messages were among those widely re-shared – which means they would have received less prominence than original posts under the current system.
A company spokeswoman said the logic for prioritizing original posts was that most Instagram users had more stories to follow than time to check them – and the company believed people were “more interested in original stories from their closest friends”. Instagram has seen an increase in how many people are re-sharing posts in general, the platform said – and is now acknowledging that posts not “getting the reach people expect them to” is “not a good experience”.
Instagram said this newly announced shift towards equal weighting of original posts and re-shared stories will happen over time, rather than being an instant change. They still think people want to see more original stories, so they are looking at other ways to focus stories on original content through things like new creative tools.