Everything You Need to Know About the New Instagram Algorithm

I’ve been seeing people complain, and then complain some more, about the Instagram algorithm. Their engagement is decreasing by the day, they’re losing followers, and they’re tired of constantly trying to keep up with the changes on popular social media platforms. Businesses, influencers, and just normal, everyday people who use social for fun have been noticing the implications on their accounts. In today’s blog post, I’m going to take you through the most recent update in the Instagram algorithm, and why you should just roll with the punches instead of getting frustrated and forgoing social media entirely.

First of all, remember that Instagram is designed to keep people on the app. Instagram WANTS you to stay on the app for as long as possible, and they’ve made this very apparent with the way external content and web browsers are displayed – they don’t actually take you away from Instagram. The Explore page was created to help you follow popular accounts and connect with new people. Instagram Stories, Highlights, and Live are all part of an effort to get people to keep using Instagram.

In March of 2016, Instagram got rid of chronological order – the algorithm the app was created on. In other words, the app was originally designed to display the most recent posts at the top of your feed, with the preceding posts following after. They got rid of this and created a new algorithm, which favors top-performing content, as well as content that you’re most likely to engage with. Instagram knows what you click on, what you buy, what you talk about, and they know whose profiles you spend the most time on.

Users were NOT happy about this change. For almost two years, there has been an uproar on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and numerous other sites, and many have threatened to delete Instagram. Site note – Remember when people were all about Vero – potential “Instagram-replacement” app? People talked about it for a few days, and now it’s completely irrelevant. 🙂

Instagram listened to all of these complaints, and if you need a reminder, THEY WANT YOU TO LOVE INSTAGRAM!… They’re not out to get you or threaten small businesses or influencers like many people believe. So, they recently tweaked the algorithm once again to *hopefully* better suit their users. Here are the details:

  • They’re not completely going back to chronological order, but they will be putting more recent posts higher in your feed.  There won’t be as many old posts at the top of your feed, which is what many complained about.
    • If you’re a business owner, this does NOT mean you should start upping your posting frequency, just to ensure you’re at the top of the feed. Just be mindful of when your audience is most active on social, and schedule/post on those specific days and times.
  • Another change they implemented was removing the automatic “refresh” on the feed. This change seems minor, but I think it will have a huge impact. Many of us could get easily annoyed by the automatic refresh, because you would be scrolling through your feed and it would refresh, out of nowhere, and you would be taken back to the top of the feed and lose your place.
  • In an effort to get *closer* to the beloved chronological order algorithm, they have announced a “New Posts” addition. This is currently being tested. In their announcement, they said the goal of it was to refresh the feed with newest posts and take you back to the top of the feed, any time you want.

Changes in social media platforms, marketing trends, design trends, etc. are constantly happening, and that will never change. If you’re a business owner or influencer, you have to stay updated on these trends and be ready to adapt. Unfortunately, individual users, bloggers, and sites tend to blow these changes out of proportion and make them seem like they are going to be detrimental. Please educate yourself, read numerous sources, and test the changes yourself before giving up on these valuable business tools.

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