A few weeks ago Instagram dropped some pretty big news that would be rolling out during their next update. Instagram announced that they would be ditching their chronological newsfeed order. Similar to their Facebook counterpart, Instagram will be adapting a non-chronological newsfeed order. Essentially, you will no longer see post based upon time, but rather, you will see post as they relate to you personally. The relevancy is based upon social engagement (i.e. posts you typically “like” or have previously engaged with the most). As a result of this announcement, the internet and Instagram users have lost their minds over this.
So much so that there is currently a petition going on over at Change.org asking Instagram not to change their newsfeed algorithm.
But, why is everyone so angry?
The main uproar comes from businesses and Instagram personalities that aim at making money through Instagram. The main complaint is comparing this update to that of Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, which is famous for discriminating against business page’s content.
As a result, Instagram is a cluttered mess right now with virtually every user posting pictures saying “Turn on post notifications”.
The call to action of turning on post notifications will come with a cost to everyone. As a basic example, if I turned on post notifications for 284 people (half of the accounts I follow) my phone would blow up at least 284 times in one day to notify me someone posted a picture.
Now, who wants or even has time for that? No one.
Not to spend too much time talking to the Instagram personalities, who are worried followers will no longer see their content, but if this applies to you, the fear of people missing your posts is simply not accurate. Keep posting content that got you thousands of followers and you will be just fine.
To the average Instagram user, you do not need to turn on post notifications for every account you love just to see that content. Do not put yourself through that. You will continue to see the accounts you love and interact with. Whether its Kylie Jenner, cat memes, or motivation from Riley, you will still see all this content in your feed.
When it comes to using Instagram as a business tool or account, it is unfair to compare this newsfeed update to that of Facebook. There is no need to get angry over this. Unlike Facebook, Instagram does not separate personal accounts from business accounts. As far as Instagram is concerned, a profile is a profile and all 400 million user accounts are the same. As a result, the non-chronological newsfeed is not discriminating towards business pages.
Instagram lets everyone know about this update ahead of time and that was gracious of them because now is the time for marketers to take action. If there was ever a time to jumpstart your new marketing strategy, now is that time. The competition on Instagram just increased tenfold because no longer are you competing for reach, but engagement and engagement is far more important than reach and far more difficult for some businesses to reach. The only way to get your audience engaged in your content is to produce great content. If your content is great and consistent then you have nothing to worry about, people will see what you are putting out no matter when you post it.
However, if your content is lacking, there is some steps to take to get ahead of the curve and increase your content. If you are using Instagram seriously as a tool to drive your business, then it should go without saying that you are already tracking and analyzing your results. You should know when your audience is online and engaging, and you still can schedule posts to go out at those times to increase visibility of your content. It’s crucial to dissect your analytics to see which hashtags are performing the best while driving the most engagement. Always vary your hashtags to increase your chances of being seen by a new group of users. (However, don’t spam your audience with thirty hashtags that are irrelevant to your content)
Also, while striking visual content is crucial to survive and stand out in the world of Instagram, start being strategic about your captions. Captions with a call to action are proven more than effective in getting the results you desire. If you want more engagement, ask for it. It’s as simple as that. Your captions can read, “double tap if you agree”, “share with friends”, “share your thoughts.”
Look, if you’re a business that enjoys a high engagement rate on Instagram, chances are you already know your audience well and know the sort of content you need to create in order to receive engagement. You companies know who you are, so don’t change a thing, you keep doing you. If you are the latter, don’t be afraid of spending a little money on Instagram to boost your content to target the right people. It works!
All in all, the change in the algorithm isn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be. If you are posting great content, it will still be waiting for your audience to consume no matter the time of day. To prove to you Instagram works a recent study indicated that 60% of instagrammers learn about products and services through the app and 75% of users take action after seeing an inspiring post that calls them to action. So really, people,