Instagram’s Changing Algorithm

It’s now widespread news that Instagram is changing its algorithm. What are we to make of this?


What’s going on?

This March, Instagram announced plans to change its algorithm. The mobile app assures us that the change is being enacted for the benefit of user experience, titling their March 15 blog post, “See the Moments You Care About First.” By changing the order that photos and videos appear in a user’s newsfeed, the app will present the status updates most relevant to the user at the top of the user’s newsfeed.

This algorithm change is not an entirely new concept. Social media giant Facebook, which now owns Instagram, uses this same algorithmic filtering with its own news feeds, sorting posts based on relevance to the user rather than presenting the posts in chronological order.

Why did Instagram do this?

According to the previously mentioned Instagram blog post, Instagram users miss on average 70 percent of the content in their news feeds. As the app expands its user base and as users follow more and more accounts, it becomes increasingly difficult for Instagrammers to keep up with the updates on their news feeds. By reordering photos and videos, Instagram hopes to enhance the user experience. In their blog post, Instagram tells us, “If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.”

Yet people aren’t reacting quite as joyfully as Instagram hopes. The app received major backlash, as users wish for the content to remain chronological. In fact, in their report of the change, the New York Times began their article with, “Deep breaths everyone.” Here are just a couple of the many negative reactions people are having to this post notification concept:

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What does this mean for my business?

The big problem? In order for users to receive more “likes,” many have been asking their followers to turn on “post notifications” so that the followers will receive an update whenever a new post is published. By now you might be asking yourself, “Do I need to ask my followers to sign up for notifications from my posts?” The short answer: no. Though a post asking this of your followers may help your biggest fans stay on top of your content and bring in continuous “likes,” it overall will probably just annoy most of your followers. Here are what some users think of the post notifications requests:

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What, then, is the solution? Just keep creating wonderful content. If you continue publishing content that your followers enjoy, you’ll likely end up near the top of their news feeds, where theyare more likely to see your photos and “like” or comment on them. A little sass never hurts, either:

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