Instagram May Have Classified You As “Needy”

by • May 24, 2016 • InstagramComments Off on Instagram May Have Classified You As “Needy”5869

There is no doubt that a lot is changing for Instagram lately. It is no surprise though, right? When Facebook bought the platform for $1 billion, we all knew that meant a deep transformation into a money-making business, was on its way.

Just in the recent weeks, we have heard of video carousel ads, rumours of new business profiles, and even in-app analytics. But Elliot Murray, Head of Innovation at The Social Chain , has just discovered something rather… interesting.

Murray decompiled Instagram’s app and came up with a list of unreleased new features that the platform could be preparing to release soon. He found that Instagram already has a list of boolean values within the app that are ready to be switched on for each user, giving access to new features.

This way, he was able to confirm that business profiles and in-app analytics are indeed coming soon. But he also discovered that Instagram could also be giving access to organic analytics for non-business profiles.

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Below is a screenshot of all the boolean values Elliott discovered, hidden within the app;


Most values are pretty straightforward and we can easily make sense of them. One, however, has struck our attention… And that is [is_needy].

Does Instagram Classify Us Based On Psychological Metrics?

Facebook did get in trouble a while back after it was revealed that the company had been conducting psychological tests based on users’ emotions. The tests were quickly stopped, and the story almost forgotten.

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However, the variable [is_needy] makes us believe that the company might be at it again. Of course, there is no information about what this variable is actually measuring, but I can easily believe it would be linked to the change to a non-chronological timeline and the “need” for someone to feel loved, and of course at the top of the feed.

Whatever that is, it shows how much Instagram (and Facebook) are able to understand about our online behaviour.

You can read the full story from Elliot on Elliot Murray’s Medium profile.

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