A couple of changes are currently underway at Instagram HQ, as the app prepares for another alteration to its widely-discussed algorithm. The app has been receiving feedback online, positive and negative, since it changed the feed back in March 2016.
The history of the algorithm
After analysing how users engage with different accounts and posts, the feed was changed from chronological to display the ‘most relevant’ content for its users. We posted a blog on all that at the time, and if you haven’t already, you can read it here.
The new algorithm was built with the intention for well-liked content from friends (relevant posts), to appear at the top of the feed, but some users complained of the opposite.
Although the change worked for lots of people, others complained when popular posts – such as ones from brands and influencers – were the only posts being shown in their feeds. Some Instagrammers also noticed that posts from over three days ago were appearing first, with more recent content being overlooked. While content engagement increased, some users were discouraged from posting through fear of missing out on those important likes and comments.
What are the changes this time round?
In an effort to improve the experience of its 800 million + monthly users, Instagram recently announced that it’s set to make a couple of changes to the algorithm. Essentially, this update will mean that more recent posts are displayed at the top, rather than content that you may have already seen.
A ‘new posts’ button will also be added to the app, which will allow users to choose to refresh their feed – or not – whenever they want to, so you can always scroll from where you left off.
Announcing the revamp in a recent blog post, Instagram said, “We’re introducing changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.”
How will it affect your feed?
Although this doesn’t mean your feed will be back to its old, chronological ways, it’ll feel slightly more that way, as Instagram continues its quest to find the right balance between relevant and recent content.
With this introduction of a more time-organised feed, you’ll have to start thinking more carefully about when to post your content. To find out what time you’re likely to get the most engagement, it’s worth taking a peek at your Instagram analytics.
Instagram has said it will be sharing more improvements in the next few months, as its goal is “to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you,” – and we’re excited to find out more about the coming changes.
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