Instagram said Wednesday it will start suggesting posts at the bottom of your feed based on the accounts that you follow. It's part of the Facebook-owned social network's push to make it easier for people to find more content they might be interested in on the site.
Instagram users worldwide will see suggested posts after they've finished scrolling through all the content from the accounts they follow. Suggested posts will come after a message that states "You're all caught up." If you follow accounts about space and food, for example, you'll see more of that type of content at the bottom of your feed. Instagram is also displaying ads between these posts. Getting people to spend more time on the site could make Instagram even more attractive to advertisers.
Some Instagram users don't scroll all the way to the bottom of their feed so they might not see the suggested posts. Watching videos and photos that vanish in 24 hours in Instagram Stories has also become more popular so users spend a lot of time at the top of their feed where this content is located.
Julian Gutman, who leads product work for the Instagram Feed, said the social network sees suggested posts as an "extension" of a user's feed.
"We want to show you more content from across Instagram that's relevant to you and that's really related to the content that you already follow," he said.
Instagram already has a tab called "Explore" that exposes users to new content and accounts based on accounts they follow, what posts they like and other signals. Gutman said the Explore tab uses more signals than Suggested Posts to show users content that branches out from what they're already interested in on the site. For example, a user who follows a lot of space-related accounts on Instagram could see other science content including about physics in the Explore tab.
Suggested posts, he said, is "complementary" to Instagram's Explore tab. Users will see new suggested posts every time they log back into Instagram. Users can also click on three grey dots in the top right hand corner of a post and click "not interested" if Instagram is displaying content they don't find relevant.
Gutman said Instagram has been working on suggested posts for roughly two years and the idea has evolved over time. The company tested different formulas for the type of content it might show to users, including a version that was more similar to the Explore tab.
"People really gravitated and reacted more positively to content that was similar to what you're seeing in feed which was a key part of this extension-of-feed idea," he said.