Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Instagram’s Algorithm Changes

Wednesday 20th, April 2016

instagram logo photo

For the past few weeks, much has been written about the addition of an algorithm to personalize the Instagram feed as opposed to the present chronological feed.

There has been an avalanche of dislike expressed towards the algorithm and right from an average Joe to the celebrities, everyone has been tweeting their displeasure towards it. Concerned marketers are urging followers to turn on the notifications to ensure that they are notified every time something new is posted.

Many bloggers and brands use Instagram for their social media promotions and the reaction was natural. But in an era where we’re overwhelmed with notifications from multiple social networks, do you think users would want to get drowned in notifications? Probably not.

So let’s examine what the algorithm change really means and whether it’s as scary as it looks.

The current chronological feed is effective only in two cases:

  1. Businesses post on Instagram every half an hour (or)
  2. People follow only a limited number of handles.

Both the cases aren’t factual.

According to Optical Cortex that conducted a survey on 20000+ Instagram users found that the average number of accounts that people follow in 822. Let’s say an average user takes about five seconds to look at a picture and glance at the top comments, it will take him 68 minutes to scroll through all the 822 posts just once.

With the ever reducing attention span among people and the exploding amount of content being generated, there is no way people will spend 68 minutes scrolling through their Instagram feed.

For the majority of a brand’s followers, its content wasn’t the first thing they saw – it was rather buried deep in the feed. Hence the whole argument against the algorithm isn’t justified.

Now that the algorithm is coming into effect despite ‘protests’, what you should focus upon is getting ahead of the game by playing smart. As a smart marketer, your focus should be on quality content

Follow the below strategies to protect your audience and increase your engagement levels.

Generate Compelling Content

The whole idea behind the introduction of this algorithm is to ensure accounts post authentic and innovative content and the users get a better experience. In short, the best content should reach maximum people irrespective of the time of posting.

You already post content that people love?

No need to panic. Just like Facebook, Instagram will interpret what people are interested in and display content according to their preferences.

Be Relevant

Are you buying followers?

Well, it’s time you stopped. Instead focus on growing your audience that likes/cares about your brand. Your paid followers won’t be able to see your posts after this update.

Use relevant hashtags and connect with people but don’t overdo it. Hashtags will bring the right people to your page. Adapt to your followers’ responses and share your content accordingly.

Invest In Ads

It can’t get more obvious than this. The algorithm change will benefit the advertisers considerably. Make use of it. Investing even a small budget of a few hundred dollars a month will have a positive impact on your engagement levels.

Try Videos

Instagram allows videos that are up to 60 seconds long. According to their research, the time users have spent watching videos on Instagram has increased 40% in the last six months. With additional features such as multi-clip, you can make interesting stories by combining various clips. All’s said and done, time and effort has to be put in to create quality content that fits the bill.

Final Word

This algorithmic change might be for the better. As long as you post amazing content, it will be waiting for your followers even if it’s posted hours before.

There is an inevitable truth in digital marketing space – adapt or die.

You should embrace an agile approach to marketing that is smart, swift and in sync with technological changes such as these. Only then can you survive!


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