Instagram | 5.4.16
A new algorithm will soon change the way users see content on Instagram feeds.
Following the footsteps of its parent company, Facebook, Instagram is testing out a new algorithm that will display posts based on past behaviors, similar to how Facebook posts content in its own news feed. If you like more posts from a particular user or source, Instagram will display more photos from this source closer to the top of your feed. Up to this point, Instagram had been displaying images chronologically.
The new update is currently in beta but will be rolling out in the next coming months, but it’s already received some detractors, especially among Instagram’s most avid users. Many of these users are accustomed to seeing posts published in real time and with this new update, many of these posts may be missed or go unseen. Once released, it’s possible that users will only see 30% of the content produced they people they follow.
However Instagram’s official blog post stated that they will take great care and “take time to make it right,” listening to user suggestions and feedback through in-app surveys, interviews, and bug reports, so the integrity of user experience is not affected.
What Marketers on Instagram Need to Know
Marketers will need to up the ante on the number of high quality images they publish, and say goodbye to the chronological luxury in news feeds. Your follower base will have a smaller chance of seeing and engaging with posts with the new complexity of algorithmic feeds. Only those who engage with you content (or similar content) will see your content.
This holds us marketers more accountable for the quality of posts we publish, ensuring that what we share is something that will be relevant to our audience. The algorithms will reward those who post content that is most tailored to their audience. The best ways to stay relevant to your followers’ feeds is to:
1. Identify your ideal audience
2. Understand culture, interest, and affinities associated with your audience
3. Analyze the content you’ve already shared – which posts received the most feedback?
4. Build relationships with top influencers in your Instagram community
As platforms grow, friend and follower lists grow, the noise gets louder, and inevitably platforms have to undergo changes to display what users want to see. This is nothing new and certainly something we’ve already witnessed on Facebook. However, algorithmic feeds will not only mean greater control in how content is displayed but how ad campaigns are displayed as well. For many brands and publishers, the days of “setting up a profile and be on it” are over. Instead an emphasis will be placed on putting together more creative and engaging content and considering the advertising options available.