By Brychan Humphries
You may have seen some of your favourite Instagram personalities posting images telling you to "turn on post notifications." Although this feature has been available for quite some time, its sudden popularity among the Instagram community is the result of a controversial decision by Instagram to change the algorithms used by the app which control the order in which users view Instagram posts. At the moment, we see Instagram posts in reverse chronological order (i.e, newest posts go at the top, oldest go at the bottom), meaning we must scroll down to see everything that was posted to our feed since last time we were using the app. This is how it's been since the beginning and it's been working very well. We're used to seeing the newest posts as soon as we open the app and scrolling through until we start seeing older posts. Although Instagram claim the change will be for the better, the news has sparked panic within the Instagram community as companies using Instagram to promote their brand rush to request that their followers enable post notifications. This will notify a user on their lock screen every time a certain account posts a picture, meaning that, regardless of their new position on the user's feed after the algorithm takes effect, the post is still seen by the user. Companies who own Instagram accounts take this very seriously because some companies rely on how many of their posts are seen by their followers and, with Instagram's new algorithm, there's no definitive way to tell how many users will see their posts. Instagram's decision could have serious repercussions for their demographics and even stock price. So, how will this effect you and I? The most noticeable change is that, when we open the app to view our feed, the order in which the posts are displayed. Instead of the newest posts being seen first, the posts from the accounts that the new algorithm has determined we like the most will be given priority. As for all these accounts asking us to turn on our post notifications, at the moment, it's important to remember what this option does. It will, provided you have notifications enabled on your phone, tell you every time a specific account has posted a photo, giving you the option to visit the post immediately. As you can imagine, if you have this option enabled for multiple accounts, even just four or five, the resulting flow of notifications would be unbearable. So, even though companies are desperately trying to stay on top of the celebrities and their stupendously high follower counts, the best thing to do right now is not to enable post notifications for anyone apart, perhaps, from friends and family.