What The Instagram Algorithm Means For You

Social Media
April 5, 2016

Our favourite food-sharing, selfie-taking, filter-adding app Instagram is adding a new algorithm that’ll reshape the way you view uploads from Kim K, Biebs and your best mate’s new kitten.

The new algorithm update will see the replacement of the good ol’ chronological order and usher in a new dawn of viewing content based on your interests, clicking habits and popularity of posts.

Instagram says we’re missing out on around 70% of our news feed pics pics due to the current system and that the new experience will “order our feed to show us the moments they believe we care about the most”.

Back in 2014 Instagram implemented a less technical and far less important change to update its popular tab to ‘search and explore’. The revision saw the tab change from its usual featured celebrities and wannabe pornstars to include trending posts, a functioning search feature and bespoke content, tailored to the user.

The new update is something a lot of us saw coming, especially with Instagram being the little sister of Facebook, so it isn’t a big shock they followed suit. Despite this, social media has exploded with complaints over the new change, as well as panicked influencers begging for us to enable push notifications.

Whether Instagram wants to tighten its grip as the king of social engagement or halt the decline of follower interaction, we’re sure the biggest change Instagram has seen will affect our relationship with the social giant.

With the game changing to likes rather than timing, we may see an improvement in the quality of content thrown into the social sphere. We’re going to have to up our game to make sure our content’s getting out there; this is only good news for the casual ‘grammer though. The platform may see organic advertisements disappear, as businesses get smarter about using the platform. There’ll still be sponsored posts, but Instagram won’t get overloaded with ads as we’re seeing happen now.

On the one hand, we’ll be better informed with a wealth of new analytics at your fingertips ready to tweak and fix your strategies reducing the wastage of campaigns and you’ll hit the screens you really want to. We’re really going to have to do our research and budgets are only getting tighter, so we’ll have to choose between spending our precious pennies on influencers, optimising our content or buying that now all too important advertising space.

On the other hand, if you find yourself in the lucky and rare situation that your budget gives you a little breathing room, expect to see an increase in your paid ad spend, everyone is latching onto this engagement gold mine and only the biggest and best are going to flourish in the illustrious “sponsored post” space.

Unfortunately, some brands with smaller budgets will inevitably see a drop in reach – these brands will need to start thinking very cleverly about producing quality content rather than relying on organic advertising, as we think that Instagram will penalise organic posts of a promotional nature (as Facebook does currently).

Instagram has become the king of engagement and therefore brands are begging for more of their content to be out there. With the chronological system, some brands saw that spamming people with posts has no downside so users’ news feeds were saturated by sales posts. The algorithm changes inherently removes the need for repeated posts throughout the day because if your post is seen as engaging, people will see it despite if their phone dies at the wrong time or if they can’t peel their eyes off any other screen they happen to be looking at – Instagram will rank it higher in the algorithm.

The changes bring a new dawn unto the social horizon and us lucky marketers get to experience all the horror or glory first-hand and in real time. Is this the death of organic reach? Who knows? For the mean time though, we’ll let the Kardashian clan explain the business to us…



Kendall Jenner update about the Instagram algorithm change Kylie Jenner Twitter update about the Instagram algorithm change