Instagram will finally help creators understand why they’re failing

Instagram is updating its Account Status feature to better inform business and creator accounts why some of their posts get suppressed as it aims for more transparency with users.

These accounts will now know which of their posts is “eligible to be recommended” by Instagram’s algorithm to non-followers on other sections of the platform. This includes places like the Explore page, Reels, and In-Feed recommendations. On the flip side, Instagram will also inform accounts why their content isn’t being recommended by explaining how, for instance, it violates Community Guidelines, according to the announcement. This information can also be found on Instagram’s Creators page; it’s just more front and center than before.

And once informed, creators are given an opportunity to either edit or delete the offending post or appeal if they think Instagram was a little overzealous in flagging that content. The review team will take a close look at the said post before getting back with a new decision. If that sounds familiar, that’s because regular accounts have been able to appeal flagged content since the launch of Account Status back in October 2021. 

For a future update, there are hints at expanding Account Status to other features like the Search function plus educating creators on how to better reach non-followers. 

It’s unknown when the Account Status update will release and to where. The implication is the new features are currently rolling out. We asked Instagram if it could clarify the launch window and if it can tell us more about future Account Status additions. We’ll update this story if we hear back.

Clarifying the algorithm

In the announcement, Instagram states it understands how frustrating it can be for accounts to understand why they’re not getting the engagement they once had. That's really the goal of this update: to clear up confusion. Social media algorithms are a frequent source of frustration for many content creators. How these algorithms work is a closely guarded secret. If you spend enough time on YouTube, for example, you’ll eventually run into a creator complaining about how difficult it is to understand what gets recommended or suppressed.

There have been third-party moves this past year to rectify this problem. The most notable one was when the European Union passed the Digital Service Act, which will force tech giants like Meta to reveal how their recommendation algorithms work. However, that law won’t go into effect until 2024, so first-party tools will remain limited.

But there are third-party tools out there. Check out TechRadar's recently updated best social media management tools of 2022. They’re a good way to time posting content so you can maintain high audience engagement. 

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iPhone 6 users can no longer access Twitter, and they’re not happy

The latest update to the Twitter app has killed off support for iOS 12, with the latest version of the app now requiring iOS 14 or later in order to function – and that means users of the iPhone 6, which can’t be updated beyond iOS 12, can no longer access all of Twitter’s features. 

While we can’t get hold of an iPhone 6 to see for ourselves, users across Twitter have been complaining about losing access to many features on their phones, following the update.

Without the option to upgrade beyond iOS 12, it’s plain to see why iPhone 6 users, along with owners of the iPad Air and 6th-generation iPod Touch, are a bit miffed about the Twitter app's latest requirement.

Users stuck on iOS 12 report that while they can still see tweets on their timeline, the rest of the app no longer functions correctly. 

Thankfully for users who are still clinging to their iPhone 6, it is not a completely lost cause, as it is still possible to use Twitter on the device, as the web client still functions without issue, but it’s hardly a perfect solution/it’s no substitute for the full app experience.

Analysis: a shocking twist that was a long time coming

Although the loss of full app functionality has come as a shock to many iPhone 6 users, the demise of Twitter on iOS 12 has been a long time coming, as the social media giant officially dropped support for the nearly four-year-old operating system in early 2021. 

Even after official support for the app stopped on iOS 12, iPhone 6 users were still able to enjoy the core functionality of the app, albeit without the new features of the latest versions. 

Looking at the numbers though, it’s no surprise that Twitter will have wanted to scuttle the older version of the app. According to Apple, only 2% of iPhone users are still using a version of iOS that’s older than iOS 14, which makes maintaining an aging version of the Twitter app a largely worthless but nonetheless costly endeavor. 

Regardless of the fact that this decision only affects 2% of Apple’s users who have stuck with their seven-year-old devices, it’s nevertheless a reminder that planned obsolescence is very much an issue that will come for all our devices eventually. 

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