Instagram is changing, EVERYBODY PANIC!
Ok, don’t really panic. I assure you that everything is going to be fine.
It seems that almost every change made in social media land is received with fear and cynicism. Instagram’s planned news feed algorithm is no different. People are literally signing petitions to stop Facebook from switching the Instagram newsfeed from being chronological to a new algorithm based system.
Much like the Facebook algorithm that puts the stuff you click most at the top of your news feed, Instagram will be adopting a similar new strategy for displaying posts. Instead of displaying images chronologically, you’ll soon be seeing them sorted based on what Instagram’s AI thinks you’ll want to see the most. The photo sharing giant, owned by Facebook since 2012, explained in a blog post that many users miss approximately 70% of the content from users they’re following.
You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.
To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.
The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.
While this definitely takes the focus off of the “Insta” part of the Instagram moniker, there’s also a benefit, especially if you’re a casual user who’s too busy with real life to be checking an app 15x per day.
See, one of the things I love most about Instagram is that, more than any other social network, it allows you to casually peek into the lives of your friends and family without much effort or intrusion. I can watch my niece and nephew grow up in Florida from New York without bothering my sister to text me photos every 45 minutes. With Instagram, she posts them whenever something cute or interesting. The kids got new Easter outfits? It’s on Instagram. My niece is adorably making egg-rolls for some reason? That’s there too. I double-tap (like) the photos of the kids pretty much every time I see them. Sometimes, however, when I’ve worked a 12 hour day, I miss some stuff. With this new algorithm, Facebook takes into account that these posts are what I want to see, so they’ll probably be sitting at the top of my feed waiting for me when I finish my work-marathon.
The same goes for accounts run by your favorite brands and celebrities. In short, it’s nice to have the things you love be the first things you see.
For a lot of Brands, this is bad news. Users might have thrown them a like for one great post, as part of a contest, or after seeing a billboard outside of a bar where they had one too many drinks. Maybe they don’t interact with posts from these brands all that much, but until this change takes place, the brand gets to sandwich its
photos advertisements in between posts from users’ friends and family. That’s a great spot to be in for very little cost or effort. With the new algorithm, however, if people aren’t interacting with those corporate posts, they’re going to get kicked to the bottom of users’ news feeds.
How Can Brands Stay Relevant With Instagram’s New Algorithm?
As this happens, we’re seeing brands and public figures panic and post instructions explaining how to subscribe to push notifications for their accounts. Not only does this not solve the problem they’re looking to solve, it’s also super annoying. As gorgeous and interesting as Miss New York, Jamie Lynn Macchia is, nobody really needs a push notification every time she posts on Instagram. Though, for the record, this Staten Island girl does a lot of great work for pediatric cancer research and you should definitely follow her.
So, what *is* the solution then?
POST GREAT CONTENT
If your posts regularly give value to your followers, your followers are going to like the posts. They’re going to comment. If these things are happening, then your posts are going to get placed at the top of users news feeds organically. High quality video, beautiful photography, hilarious comics, and photos of puppies are going to rise to the top. One of the best blog posts about this was by Gary Vaynerchuck who said, “Think about it for yourself. Do the homework. Be a practitioner.” Try things, figure out what works for your audience, then do lots of it really well.
The time of just throwing stuff on Instagram for the sake of having a post go live at a certain time is over. If you weren’t before, you’re going to have to start thinking about putting great stuff on IG. Ultimately, I think this is probably for the better, but either way it’s happening, and you’re going to have to adjust to it.
Below I’ve included some resources for you guys to start making high quality content: