Get naked on Instagram and you will be rewarded: This is the conclusion of a study. A total of 2,400 photos were examined. But is there anything to it that you can only increase your Instagram reach with bikini photos? An analysis.
We know this: If you have a preference for cats or fast cars, for example, you get more pictures like this played out on Instagram. The Instagram algorithm records your search intentions, likes and comments and rinses you corresponding posts in your personal news feed.
After all, Instagram only wants to show you what you like the most. This is of course a win-win situation, because Instagram wants users to spend as much time as possible on the platform.
The fact that this approach may now be shaken has been revealed by a study conducted by the non-profit organization Algorithm Watch together with the European Data Journalism Network (EDJN).
In the corresponding analysis, there are clear indications that the Facebook subsidiary prominently displays images that show a lot of naked skin.
This is how the investigation went
For the study, the researchers asked a total of 26 Instagram users to follow a defined selection of professional instraphers. The test persons subscribed to 37 influencers from twelve countries who, among other things, advertise branded products or want to attract followers for their own Instagram channel.
The Instagrammer came from the travel, food, fitness, fashion and cosmetics sectors. This served as a basis for the study, in order to be able to recapitulate which posts appeared in the personal newsfeed of the test participants.
This was made possible by an add-on for Google’s chrome browser. This browser extension opened the Instagram account of the participants after certain time intervals and recorded all posts that were visible in the news feed at the time.
So far, the EDJN analyzed together with Algorithm Watch 2,825 posts with a total of 3,351 images. The researchers’ assumption: Due to the diversity of the subscribed channels, Instagram accordingly plays out different posts in the personal news feed.
But according to the study, this was not the case.
Instagram reach thanks to nudity?
In the crowd of pictures were also some bikini and underwear pictures of women and men with naked upper body.
Algorithm Watch now comes to the conclusion that although naked people were seen in only 21 percent of all images, they accounted for 30 percent of the posts displayed in the test subjects’ news feeds.
The researchers also concluded that Instagram was actively interfering. Because if the Instagram algorithm did not influence the playout, the variety of posts would also correspond to the variety of subscribed profiles.
Furthermore, due to the always individual news feed of each user, any distortion of the posts played out as a whole would have to be equally individual.
Facebook and Instagram are not at fault
Confronted with the accusations and results, Facebook points out that factors such as nudity or swimwear and underwear would not be considered in the algorithm. An increased Instagram range for such posts is therefore due to personal preferences.
Which side we should rather believe is up to us to decide. Because the study continues – and every Instagram user can participate. After all, the scope of the study is not yet meaningful enough so that we could accuse Instagram of a tendency towards fetishism.
But we users should be economical with our Instagram preferences. Ultimately, we are responsible for how social networks perceive us and what kind of online world they construct for us.