The Instagram Algorithm Keeps Changing! (What you need to know about the most recent updates)

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As you've probably heard, Instagram recently announced that they are changing their algorithm again.  After months of denying rumors that they were returning to a chronological feed, they finally admitted to making changes that will partially serve to make feeds more chronological, while still favoring posts with higher engagement and higher quality content.  

Basically what it boils down to is that they're tweaking their existing algorithm to give more weight to how recent a post is.  This will hopefully make it less likely that you'll see a post from three days ago at the top of your feed.  It also gives some power back to influencers, who can get more leverage out of posting at peak times.  So on one hand, you're going to have more control in terms of the impact of posting at peak hours, but engagement during the first hour  is still going to be very important in regards to whether people will be shown your post beyond that point.  So how can you master the new algorithm? 

First off, use Stories.  The great thing about IG Stories is that, from what we know, their algorithm might be slightly different and based on who is visiting your feed.  So its more important that an audience member is interested in you than that you have super high engagement. Here at Obviously, we are doing more and more collaborations focusing on Stories, both because of how much easier it is to get them in front of your audience and because of how authentic they feel.  While great Instagram feeds are polished and carefully planned, stories feel spontaneous and fresh. 

Make videos!  Videos can be done both on stories (live videos are especially fun) and on permanent posts.  Videos are especially eye-catching because they automatically play on the feed.  They're a great way to boost your engagement. 

Post at the right time.  While the value of doing this has gone up and down, it has always been good practice. Now that recent posts are favored by the algorithm, its back to being one of the most important things you can do.  If you have an Instagram business account (which we highly recommend you get), you can find out what times of day your engagement is highest.  By planning to post when your audience is the most active, you better your chances of getting that high initial engagement, which is essential to remaining at the top of the feed.  

Last, but certainly not least: make your content the best it can be.  This seems like a no-brainer, and I know that.  But the truth is there is no sure-fire way to "game" the system.  The best way to jump to the top of the feed is to get great engagement, which means creating great content.  We have tons of articles on this blog that aim to help you do just that, from inspiration, to how-tos, to industry insights. 

As a side note, Instagram is also adding a "New Posts" button, which will keep the feed from automatically refreshing while you scroll.  This won't make a huge impact for influencers, but it should make the experience of using the app nicer, which is a major bonus.

And, as always, feel free to reach out with questions about your content, the Instagram algorithm, or just to say hi!

emilys@obvious.ly

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Emily Baroz1 Comment