Professional Instagrammers and companies using Instagram are in a tizzy. The scrolling, chronological feed of Instagram is about to be prioritized, shifted and curated. Instagram is adopting algorithms.
Until now, Instagram was the only social channel among Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine that provided chronological content. Advantages to this feed are that companies and professional Instagrammers enjoyed more visibility. A disadvantage to a chronological feed is the decline in user experience.
Brands are now requesting users to turn on notifications so that their posts will appear on their news feeds. This happened when Vine, Twitter and Facebook switched over to algorithmic feeds.
According to an Instagram spokesperson,
“Performance or popularity is not what we’re optimizing for. While we are using likes and comments as signals, timeliness and the relationship between the poster and the viewer are also important,” they said. “We’re not removing any posts from people’s feeds, just reordering them. Moreover, as it stands, many people aren’t seeing posts from accounts they care about (on average, an Instagrammer is missing 70 percent of his or her feed). Our goal is to help people see the posts they care about, including from brands.”
One result of algorithms is brands must become more discerning when posting. Ultimately, brands will become more competitive, which is a good thing for the general user who had been previously inundated with posts.
If you were the social media manager at a company, what strategy would keep engagement rates up?