Why Instagram Made Multi-Photo Posts More Annoying

2 years ago, Instagram changed our feeds forever with the introduction of multi-photo posts. Users could now choose up to 10 images to display, in precisely the order they want to display them. “Create a step-by-step cake recipeĀ  that people can always find on your profile,” the company suggested in its announcement

Something has changed since then, Multi-photos posts will now often start on the second image in a series. These “photo nudges” as I call them, seem to occur when you scroll past an image without engaging with it. Instagram’s algorithm, growing smarter every day through the data users create, reinserts these series into your feed disguised as something new by “nudging” the second image forward. Whenever this happens, Instagram’s watching eye suddenly becomes a visible presence in my experience, and an annoying one at that.

Instagram did not return a request for comment about photo nudges, but a few design experts had some thoughts. As you’d expect, there’s a good chance the move is all about Instagram’s bottom line – and not your own experience with the app.

“It’s all in the pursuit of engagement, making sure that when you log in, you keep seeing posts that resonate with you,” says Kate Moran, a user experience specialist at Nielsen Norman Group. She adds that the feature might also “encourage and make sure that the posts that you submit are getting likes, so that you’re more motivated to keep posting in the future”