In March, our favourite image-based platform, Instagram, announced that it would be changing its algorithm and following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter to move away from a chronological feed, pledging to resolve the issue where users miss around 70 percent of their feed.
Instead, the update will mean that users’ feeds will be ordered to show the moments that they believe the user will care about most. This is based on the likelihood that they will be interested in the content, their relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. So, all the posts will still be there just in a different, (supposedly) optimised order.
When tested within a portion of the Instagram Community, Instagram found that people were
liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way.
There was a significant amount of uproar amongst the Instagram Community when this update was announced, with Influencers, bloggers and celebrities particularly worried that their posts will go unseen by their followers and encouraging users to ‘Turn on Notifications’ to ensure that they don’t miss a post.
What does this mean for Brands?
Post consistency & Frequently
Engagement is a key factor of this update, so it is important to keep your audience engaged by regularly posting (daily) good quality content. Take into account the times that your users are most engaged, this is usually around 8.30 in the morning (when people are commuting), lunch-time and around 7.30 in the evenings.
Ensure that the photos you are sharing are of high-quality, clear and worthy of engagement. Blurry photos will get noticed by Instagram and drop in the home feed, ultimately reducing engagement!
Consider Posting Videos
Instagram now shows views instead of likes and as such, the more views the higher chance that your video will be shown to your followers. If posting a video, just like your images, ensure that they are clear and engaging.
Hashtags are an advantageous tool available to drive engagement and relevancy of our posts to interested users. Avoid writing a #sentence #made #up #of #hashtags, but use relevant, searchable hashtags that are time relevant. Think about what users may be searching for or what is trending at that time. Utilise 5 or 6 relevant hashtags and avoid appearing spam-like.
What does this mean for our avid Insta-user?
Well, time-ordered posts will become a thing of the past and instead you will see posts that they think you will want to see, supposedly enhancing the 30 percent of posts that you do see!
But what about the user that doesn’t regularly engage with their favourite individual or brand’s posts? Well, only time will tell whether this truly enhances their Instagram experience.