The Scoop on the Instagram Algorithm


The first quarter of 2016 is coming to a close and so far, we can tell that this year has been incredible for social media. Instagram is now bigger than ever and with that, some changes are coming along. As of this week, Instagram has decided to reconfigure the way it’s feed is set up and there are various opinions on what this update means for the future of the app. Keep reading for a run-down on what the algorithm is and how people feel about it!


What is the algorithm?

Essentially, Instagram has decided to change the entire infrastructure of the app. If you haven’t updated, then you are still scrolling through your Instagram feed in a chronological order. Meaning you are seeing your followers posts in the real time that they post them. As soon as you hit that update button in the app store, you will be seeing your feed based on what Instagram believes will appeal to you. There are many factors that go into this algorithm and choosing what you see but essentially it will be based on what accounts you interact and have the most in common with.


What does the average Instagram user think about this update?

The reactions to this update have naturally varied but for the most part the response seems to be overall negative. Some users believe that it is giving Instagram too much control and will not allow them to organically see the posts of people they have chosen to follow. Some are frustrated that the brand is app is doing this solely to make money. The most overwhelming concern, however, has been that people will begin to lose touch with their followers. Avid Instagrammers have been flooding the app with posts asking their followers to “turn on notifications” so that followers will continue to see post on a timely manner, despite the algorithm. A few users are indifferent about the algorithm and do not believe it will change their Instagram experience.


What does this mean for brands?

This update could either be the rise or the fall of your brands Instagram account, depending on how you look at it. Many people are concerned about the algorithm because they believe it will eventually force their brand to have to pay for promoted posts on Instagram, just like they have been resorted to do on Facebook. While this may be a problem down the line, it is possible that this update will open up more opportunities for a brands post to be seen. Until Instagram really begins to push promoted posts, if you are active on Instagram then you should be seen. To assure that your brands stay on top of your followers feeds, it is important that you use trending hashtags on your photos, post interesting content, and engage with your followers. When viewed in chronological order, how interactive you were with your followers did not make a difference in priority viewing. So maybe this update is a good thing after all.

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