“We talk about capturing and sharing the world’s moments. We want it (Instagram) to be timely and personal,” said Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger, addressing the Web Summit Centre Stage audience.
Mike’s talk centred on how Instagram continuously strive to strike a balance between using machine learning and pure editorial to optimise the network for their users.
‘This has been the story of us adapting and evolving with a community that started at 25,000 (back in 2010).
“Our first hire – instead of a designer, or engineers or an opps person was a community manager called Josh,” he said.
Josh was hired because Instagram wanted a particularly engaged community, explained Mike. While this was great for the people already using the network, they realised that they weren’t necessarily doing enough to entice new users to the Instagram.
He went on to say that the Insta team have found out the biggest determinant of whether a new user becomes a regular user is the quality of the people they follow.
Thus began a process of balancing pure editorial and hand curating users’ discovery feeds while employing machine learning to better understand their users.
The four most popular Insta days and new products
The four days on which the most photos are posted to Instagram are Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
“You can imagine why,” Mike told us.
This in mind, the company recently launched its first video channel, complete with hand-curated posts, to coincide with Hallowe’en.
“We wanted to build something that would show you Hallowe’en while it was happening; to bring it to life.
“We wanted it to be ongoing and regularly updating,” he said.
Live curators regularly update the new video channel, while Instagram continue to make use of machine learning to ensure the channel is as “timely and personal” to individual users as possible.
Mike finished by saying that we’re living in an interesting time – “humans versus machines,” as he put it – drawing comparisons with Instagram’s balancing act between machine learning and pure editorial.
Let our app help you get to our unmissable talks tomorrow.