Back in 2018, Instagram launched a feature that showed users when they had scrolled to the bottom of their feed and seen all new posts from the last 48 hours.
Now, the company says it will use the space at the bottom to recommend new organic posts that match a user’s interest.
The addition is potentially a way to increase its advertising space on the app. In other words, recommended posts could be sponsored ones.
Instagram says that it initially launched the “You’re All Caught Up” feature to avoid social media overuse and allow users to check their screen time.
Previously, mental health advocates had called on social networks like Facebook to make changes that would allow users to address the addictive qualities of apps.
But as coronavirus lockdowns have boosted social media usage, Instagram appears to have reconsidered its position on the matter.
“Our goal is to make it clear when you’re all caught up so you can decide how you want to best use your time,” commented Robby Stein, director of product at Instagram. “We see people continuing to seek out more posts they’re interested in after catching up with their feeds, so we wanted to learn from that and make it easier to go a little deeper for those who choose to do so.”
The addition also seems to only work for people who do not follow hundreds of accounts as those are more likely to run out of content.
According to Instagram guidance, suggested posts include posts based on the accounts a user already follows and posts that are similar to the ones they saved or liked.
If a user doesn’t like a post, they can tap the “Not interested” button.
While people may be more tolerant of suggested posts in the age of COVID-19, some such as writer Jared Petty uninstalled Instagram following the announcement.