On the 22nd of March, I got a notification to update the Instagram app on my mobile device and I left it alone for a few days. For the initiated, app updates are an exciting land of scary uncertainties. They are supposed to fix bugs and add new features to the product, but sometimes these new features are not in our interest as consumers.
I have always wanted to know when someone unfollows me on Instagram, like an instant notification without having to download some cranky 3rd party app that might spam my account to kingdom come. So I was silently hoping.
After updating Instagram, my fears were confirmed. Instagram version 7.19.0 has enough bugs to bite you to tears. From the bunch, I picked up three, and here they are for your inspection.
GIMME MORE ADS
Ads first appeared on the photo sharing platform in 2013, with clickable ads debuting in March 2015. Since then, they have taken a more brazen turn. The 30 seconds video ads came first and then 60 second video ads were introduced this year. Now, with the new update, there is a video playing after I scroll through five pictures on the timeline. From exotic wines to naked girls dancing for a popular underwear brand, nothing is sacred anymore. And there is no option to turn off “Autoplay” for these annoying ads.
Honestly, I feel like a marketing robot built to analyze Instagram ads.
Yes, everything seems to be going through one lag or the other. Regardless of internet connection, videos take longer to load and sometimes forget you requested them to be loaded. My timeline experienced occasional freezes from time to time.
For a day or two after the update, my Instagram kept crashing and had to be force closed on several occasions. That has let up to a reasonable extent now, but there is not saying what might freeze up next.
This one was not a freezing problem, the app kept logging me out repeatedly without any reason or request made. As there were multiple accounts logged on to the Instagram application, it just logged off any of the accounts it liked at random.
According to an Instagram blog post, in the coming months, the timeline on the photo sharing app would no longer be organized chronologically—according to time and date—but would now be based on “what is important to you”. I have not still figured out how they intend to do that to an accurate level, but since Instagram is now owned by Facebook, some of the data from your Facebook may be used to determine “what is important to you”.
This is why there has been mass panic on Instagram as brands and even celebrities have been begging their followers to turn on notifications to be able to view their notifications when the doomsday of non-chronological post finally comes.
Instagram for me is a shared digital diary, if pictures and videos are no longer organized in a chronological fashion, it trumps the essence of its existence. What is a diary without timelines?
These are the few persistent glitches I have noticed, if you are currently experiencing any hangups with your Instagram, share with us in the comment section.
Techpoint Build 2020 is holding virtually in August 2020. You can register now to attend for free.
Subscribe to the Techpoint Africa weekly newsletter here.
Nigerian startups raised $55.4m in Q1 2020; over 99% of which came from foreign sources. Find out more when you download the full report.