Making Sense of Instagram’s Algorithmic Feed


Instagram veterans know the site has historically operated with a simple chronological content feed which shows most recent posts first.

Makes sense, right?

Users have virtually complete control over what appears in their own photo stream – who they follow or unfollow is the only thing that determines what content appears.

Companies can even post at strategic times in the hopes of catching their target audience.

However, this chronological strategy has now become a thing of the past (pun intended).On March 15, Instagram announced they will be using a new algorithm which will ensure you “see the moments you care about first”.

Instagram explained the average person misses 70 percent of the overall content in their feed.

Essentially, the algorithm should make the 30 percent of posts people actually see also the content they find most important.

“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” Instagram explained in their blog.

They also guaranteed, “…all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”In a way this sounds kind of thoughtful, doesn’t it? Instagram is oh so caringly considering users’ interests first – right?

They even assured this new algorithm will be rolled out slowly, so you don’t have to brace yourself for any drastic changes immediately.

“We’re going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way. You’ll see this new experience in the coming months,” Instagram said.

But why will we see it at all?

Remember that Instagram is a business too, and truly successful businesses are those that continue to make changes and evolve.

Pre-algorithm Instagram was an even playing field for all users – brands and consumers alike.

Now, companies may be enticed to purchase Instagram advertisement space in order to guarantee their posts will be seen.

In this sense, incorporating a content algorithm is simply a solid, strategic business move on Instagram’s behalf.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY BUSINESS?

Well, the algorithm is going to filter out a lot of junk and poor content. 

As mentioned before, timing will no longer be everything!

Instead of posting at strategic times, your main strategy will have to be your quality of content (which, hello, should be your number one focus anyway).

This new algorithm is the perfect excuse to reevaluate the message you’re sending to followers and how you’re portraying it.If you already have great content, you may see little change at all (go you!).

If people are already engaging with you, Instagram will recognize this and continue to feature you in their feed.

Taking this into consideration, you could potentially see even more engagement!

Regardless of your current interaction rate, over-posting will definitely not be the solution to counteracting this algorithm. In this case, the quality over quantity cliché has never been truer!

Your task is to create loyal followers of your brand.

Become one of your followers “interests” so Instagram will place you in their photo stream again and again.

Build a relationship with your audience members by personally responding to them via comments and individual likes.

After all, it’s called social media for a reason – go socialize!