Instagram recently rocked the social media world by announcing that they would no longer show posts in chronological order, opting to adopt a newsfeed algorithm similar to Facebook’s. Instead of showing posts in order, the new algorithm will rely on a variety of markers such as relevancy and number of post engagements. The intent of this new algorithm is to provide users with a more personalized feed, showing posts the user is likely to find interesting, first.
Instagram’s announcement of this change was met with immediate opposition. A petition even took off on Change.org, requesting that Instagram continue using the chronological feed. The fear stemmed from concern that Instagram’s feed would become too similar to Facebook’s, which is regarded by some as not business-friendly.
In January 2015, Facebook updated its newsfeed algorithm to include less promotional content from business pages. As a result, Facebook users saw fewer posts from business pages in their newsfeeds. This upset many business owners, as they felt their content was now going to be seen by fewer Facebook users, which resulted in a negative impact on business.
Although Instagram’s algorithm change seems similar to Facebook’s, there is one key difference: Instagram does not separate business accounts from personal accounts. Instagram’s algorithm change does not mean that users will see fewer promotional posts from businesses, it only means that users will see content they are likely to consider interesting at the top of their feeds.
Since the new algorithm takes relevancy and popularity into account, Instagram analytics will become increasingly important. Businesses should track analytics to determine the effectiveness of posted content, making necessary adjustments to increase the number of post interactions and engagements.
The algorithm change may actually be beneficial to businesses. If you post fabulous content, it will pop up at the top of your followers’ newsfeeds, even if you posted it several hours ago. So now, more than ever, is the time to make sure your businesses’ content is superb.
I wrote the above blog post as an intern at Rebecca Adele PR & Events during the Spring 2016 semester. Blogs for the company could discuss any social media, public relations, or event planning topic. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, so I thought it was important to help our clients understand how the algorithm change would impact their Instagram accounts.