In general, I can be on the fence about Instagram. The pressure to be “perfect” for the ‘gram can make me roll my eyes or bore me (though yes, I have succumbed to this pressure before, I’m only human). One thing Instagram knows is that I like is cats, which frequently leads me to ask myself: Why aren’t there more cats in my feed?
The app might have read my mind. Instagram is currently working on a feature that will allow me to fill my feed with more furry joy. According to mobile developer and leaker Alessandro Paluzzi, a possible future update would allow users to create a list of their “favorite” accounts. The accounts on this list would appear higher in a user’s feed, Paluzzi explained.
“Posts from your favorites are shown higher in feed,” Instagram explains in a screenshot of the purported update shared by Paluzzi. “We don’t send notifications when you edit your favorites.”
In a June explainer on how it ranks feed and stories, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the company considers a variety of factors. First, it considers the recent posts by people you follow. Then, in order of importance, it takes into account things like how popular the post was and what format it’s in; how many times you interacted with the person who posted the content in recent weeks; how many posts you’ve liked on Instagram; and your history of interacting with someone, among others.
After that, Instagram makes predictions on how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, or tap on the profile picture.
“The more likely you are to take an action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you’ll see the post,” Mosseri said.
Instagram told Gizmodo that the feature is currently an internal prototype that’s still in development and not testing externally.
Update 9/11/2021, 10:20 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional comment from Instagram.