Instagram Algorithm Secrets Revealed!

Instagram recently revealed the long-shrouded secrets to how it organises their user’s feeds, including how it considers different factors within its algorithm. Until now, we have been unaware of how they have filled in the blank spaces between posts from family and friends, since they no longer adopt the chronological order of posts from 2016.

Product lead Julian Gutman explained that it ranks three main factors when creating a user’s feed: interest, recency and relationship. Interest is how much Insta thinks you’ll care about a post, with the highest ranking at the very top. Recency just means that the algorithm prioritises more recent posts over older ones. Relationship is based upon the relation you have with the poster, whether you are private messaging them, liking their posts regularly or tagging them in your own posts.

The more you interact with a specific user on the platform, the more likely you will see their posts higher up on your feed. Instagram will also take frequency into account when creating your custom feed for you. Depending on how often you spend time scrolling through the app, depends on the content you will see. Instagram wants to show you posts you haven’t seen yet or ones it thinks you will like best since you last opened the app.

Instagram also cleared up some rumours that have been floating around too. Sadly, they have no plans to re-introduce the reverse chronological order that so many have petitioned to be brought back, so you’re stuck with the current situation for now.

Instagram also deny hiding any posts within your feed and states that if you keep scrolling you will see every post from everyone you follow. It also stated that no matter how frequently you post or how many hashtags you ping on the description, it doesn’t discriminate and down-rank users who choose to do so.

A lot of what they have confirmed seems somewhat obvious, they show you what’s most important first, and the rest here after. It’s an efficient algorithm, but the fact they have addressed these rumours and shed light on their secrets shows there is a real worry from users who think their posts are being lost within the crowd.

For some this may not mean much, but for people who are now building their livelihoods online and becoming influencers/content creators, they rely on the platform to bring them brand awareness.

Look out for further news in our blog.

iOS 12 – All the major changes

Apple Inc unveiled on Monday that their latest operating system set to release, iOS 12, will make older devices, such as the iPhone 6, work better. iOS 12 will be able to carry out simple tasks, like opening an app, twice as fast as the previous version of the software. Apple noted that iOS 12 will be available on all devices which its predecessor was available on, devices which date back to 2013.
Along with the new iOS update, Apple are also bringing some more major updates this year. They are adding a brand-new app call Measure. Measure helps you take measurements of real-world objects. The app uses your iPhone’s camera to virtually take accurate readings, letting you see the width, length, and height of things just by tapping your screen.

Your notifications will also now be grouped by app. Apple has historically sorted notifications chronologically, but with iOS 12, they’ll be grouped by app. It’s a change that users have been begging Apple to adopt for years, and it’s one area where Android has had a major leg up, making it a lot easier to deal with piles and piles of notifications.

The Photos app is becoming smarter and more interactive too, putting it on par with app like the ever-popular Google Photos. You will now be recommended to search for people, places, categories and more. The upgraded Photos app will also suggest photos and videos to share with the people who are in them. When someone accepts the images from you, they’ll get a recommendation to share their photos back with you. Apple says that sharing is end-to-end encrypted and works via iMessage.

FaceTime just got a whole lot bigger too! It will soon support group chats with up to 32 participants. Voice memos will be getting a new fresh design, as is Apple Stocks and News. Voice memos will also be available to iPad users for the first time ever.

A new addition to the iOS 12 features list is an upgrade to the CarPlay app. No longer will it force you to use the mediocre Apple Maps to get directions, instead you will be able to use navigation from any of your favourite third-party apps, such as Waze and Google Maps.

CarPlay supported third-party apps in other scenarios, but now it no longer locks you into using its own service, to which many users are delighted by.
Apple Maps is far from a beloved app, and whilst it has improved slightly over the course of time, there are plenty of reasons people prefer to use other navigational apps, like all the customisable aspects of Waze and the additional info you can gather from other users of the app, such as roadworks and possible RTAs.

Waze has become vastly popular in the past few years, it’s currently the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Drivers are able to share real-time traffic and road information, saving other drivers time and fuel on their daily commute. Users are alerted before they approach police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams, like a personal heads-up from millions of other users using the app.

Apple noted that most major vehicle manufacturers are partnering with Apple to incorporate CarPlay, which gives iPhone users in-car access to its phone services, Apple Music, iMessage, Apple Books (fancy new name!) and podcasts, along with a selection of third-party apps like Spotify, Google Play Music, NPR and iHeartRadio, as well as Siri support.

It’s not clear yet how many users there are of CarPlay, nor how many cars are fully equipped to work alongside it, but the hope is that with its increased usefulness, the service will see more adoption.

Lastly, they will be broadening their animoji and camera effects options, with the new addition of memoji to the family. Memojis will be animated avatars which mimic your facial expressions and head movements. Memoji will be customisable to look like you, much like Snap’s personalized Bitmoji characters.

Look out for further news in our blog.

Microsoft confirms GitHub Acquisition for $7.5 Billion

Code repository GitHub has been snatched up by Microsoft for a neat $7.5bn. GitHub is popular with developers and companies alike which use the site to host their projects, code and documents. This acquisition has received a mixed bag of reactions thus far.

This is another step in Microsoft recent journey in trying to win respect from the developer and creator communities, with those who distrust the tech giant possibly deciding to move away from the long-loved GitHub. In fact, since the rumours began of this acquisition appeared, GitLab, one of GitHub’s main competitors has reported 10x the number of normal repositories moving across to them.
It’s no surprise that this deal is going ahead after Microsoft killed off their own GitHub competitor, Codeplex, last December and is now one of the top contributors to GitHub. However, it seems that earning the trust of the dev communities won’t come easy as after the botched Skype deal and the large job cuts from Nokia, concerns are already being voice about this latest acquisition.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained “Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement. We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. We will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities.”

This deal follows the mammoth acquisition that Microsoft completed two years ago, nabbing the social network LinkedIn for the enormous sum of $26.2bn. The question around this acquisition will be what Microsoft does with GitHub in the future. LinkedIn has largely remained separate, with some integrations into Microsoft’s Office software.

If like many, you are wary of the tech giant’s next move, you can keep a close eye on your GitHub activity and monitor your repositories with an LED matrix.

Look out for further news in our blog.

Why On Toast?

We have been supplying our White Label App and Web Development Services to Digital Agencies since 1997.

Our team has everything you need to turn what was an idea on a brief into a fully working concept. Whether you need an app or a website creating, our friendly Account Managers right the way through to our skilled developers, who share a wealth of knowledge and experience, will guide you through your journey and you will be assigned your very own Project Manager.

Once your development has been completed, we will give you access to our Agency Projects system where you can test and feed back to us via our ticketing system. Once you are satisfied that the development has been completed and we have sign off, we can then look at getting the system live either using our servers or if you have your own hosting solution, we can help with moving it to the new environment. We can then look at putting a SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place for you, so you do not need to worry about updates and upgrades etc. Our SLA’s are tailored for your every need.

We also like to come out and meet you face to face so you can always count on us to come and see you at your office or anywhere that suits you to either discuss a specific project or just for us to come and introduce ourselves to you and show you what we do and how On Toast works with agencies. We are also happy to attend meetings with you and your client and rest assured that your client will not know anything about On Toast unless they have already been told by you.

Why not get in touch with On Toast today to discuss your next project?