Understanding and Beating the New Instagram Algorithm

By Payton Travis

ElisaRiva / Pixabay

We’ve all come to know and love Instagram. Known as a safe place to capture, edit, and share your favorite memories, this platform has always been at the top of our list. But, behind a curtain of selfies, pups, and curated content is an Instagram algorithm we are not fond of. Instagram’s top dogs have figured out a way to tell us what we want to see, or so they think.

Why should we be told what we want to see when the “follow” button exists? Below we delve into the dirty details of this update and give you some tips on how to work around the new algorithm. We’ll also break down exactly how it works. Let’s begin.

Instagram algorithm change

According to Buffer Social, there are seven key factors that make up the Instagram algorithm:

  • Engagement
  • Relevancy
  • Relationships
  • Timeliness
  • Profile Searches
  • Direct Shares
  • Time Spent

Step one is self-explanatory. People like your photo? People comment on your photo? To the top of your followers’ feeds it goes. Before engagement was considered to be an important factor of the Instagram feed, what you saw was exactly what you wanted to see in chronological order.

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you’ve likely experienced the annoyance of seeing a 16-hour-old photo that you’ve already liked. This is directly related to step number one – you’ve engaged with the photo or this user’s photos in the past, therefore it shoots to the most important spot there is.

Let’s explore the next – relevancy. Now, let’s get one thing straight here. I absolutely believe that the excessive amount of frenchie photos on my feed are considered to be “relevant,” but that doesn’t mean I care about those photos more than my favorite celebrity or brand (sorry, puppies). The issue with relevancy being factored into the algorithm is it’s not always going to be accurate. As a brand, it’s important to trust that the content you tailor and create around a specific audience will, in fact, reach that audience. With Instagram deciding what’s relevant versus what isn’t, it’s tough to feel confident in your page.

In addition to finding the most relevant accounts for your feed, Instagram will also evaluate your “relationships.” In a nutshell, Instagram wants to predict your top 8 (anyone remember MySpace?). Whoever Instagram believes your best friends to be will appear as important posts. If you’re a marketing team trying to build a community around your brand’s Instagram, this can be frustrating, as you’re competing with friends, family and, oh yeah, an abundance of cute puppies.

Timeliness is listed as a key factor in the algorithm, but it seems hard to believe when you open the app and the first photo you may see was posted 24 hours ago. Though there are multiple factors to this so-called refresh, the sentiment behind this change is negative. According to Instagram, timeliness means that “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 Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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