My Instagram Explore page is typically comprised of photos from Timothée Chalamet fan accounts, a video of at least one Real Housewife of New York City, and dogs who are best friends with other species (for example: chickens). But today, this all changed when I awoke to find my Instagram grid hijacked by a series of generic nature and travel photos.
A seemingly benign glitch, yes, but an alarming one at that — what had become of my endless stream of nonsense content, reliably fed to me after so many steady years of following and keeping tabs on the reality TV universe? Like me, the internet had feelings. (Also, apparently more people look at their Explore tabs than I realized.)
It's a glitch that seemingly hasn't affected all Instagram users, and in my case, went away after I refreshed my Explore tab a few times (only to return again upon further refreshing). It's also, apparently, a thing that has happened in the past and was met with similar rage. In response last time, Facebook said a server bug caused it.
With Explore's recent makeover to include Stories and a new navigation bar with a Shopping tab, Instagram is clearly making moves towards even more curation and personalised content. Which is why today's glitch is all the more weird. If it's anything like last time, it will likely revert back to normal soon. But once it does, if you still want to give your Explore algorithm a makeover, there is a way to game it. If there's a photo in Explore that you don't like, you can click the ellipsis in the upper right hand corner and select "see fewer posts like this," which will inform your personal algorithm.
But for now, if your Explore feed is still bombarded with nature posts, try to enjoy them — who knows, maybe they're what your grid has been missing.