Instagram’s Changes to Their Algorithm

4 Jun 2018

Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going to be a doom and gloom repeat of our Facebook algorithm blog a few months back. The announcement that Instagram has made changes to its algorithm is actually good news for users and businesses.

Instagram’s Changes

A while back, Instagram changed the way that posts are seen in news feeds. You could have two identical accounts that follow the exact same accounts and due to the behaviour of each account, liking and commenting on different posts, the feeds would be completely different. Go even further back and Instagram feeds, like the old days of Facebook, displayed a chronological feed, meaning you could timetable your posts at certain key times.

Now the people at Instagram have made new changes to how users will see posts in their feed depending on a few signals; interest, timeliness, and relationship.

Interest: Instagram will try to predict how much users care or engage with a post. The more they engage with a certain type of post, the higher the possibility of similar posts showing up in their feed. The explore feed works like this in a similar vein, users like pictures of dogs and they will be given more content around dogs. With the new algorithm, if users like pictures of dogs and someone in their feed posts a picture of their pooch, they will probably see it in their feed also.

Timeliness: When was the picture or video posted? The new algorithm will push recent posts to the top of users feeds meaning they won’t see content from a week ago over the most recent new content.

Relationship: What’s the user relationship with the person posting? Users who are serial commenters, likers or are tagged in posts from a certain person, will typically have a relationship with them. If you have users that engage with your social media on Instagram, it will help you to remain at the top of their feeds.

There are a few other factors that will come into how well your posts rank, but as a business, you might find it hard to influence. The other factors are all based on the user and the frequency that they use Instagram, their following and their usage.

Moving forward, it is good news for using Insta to promote your business, products and brand. While it isn’t the return of Instagram’s full chronological feed, the three signals mean that your newest content should be seen by the people who are the most engaged with you at the right time.