Content creators are working hard, especially during the pandemic to provide their audience with authentic, out-of-the-box content. Building content from scratch is not an easy job. From ideation, scripting to production and editing, creators are handling everything by themselves so that they can provide quality content on the platform. But lately, most content creators feel that their content is not being recognized enough because of the current change in the Instagram algorithm.
Let’s dig deeper on the issue and see if Instagram has changed its algorithm or not.
The sudden wave of change in the Instagram algorithm has been a matter of concern for all content creators. Issues raised by content creators are:
- Most content creators are not getting enough engagement in terms of likes, shares, and comments on their posts because they feel that the algorithm is not pushing their content enough.
- Small content creators feel they have a disadvantage because the new algorithm pushes only posts that receive more engagement in the beginning.
- Some content creators and pages state that the new Instagram algorithm focuses on advertising more. Earlier it helped creators to reach people without having to pay money to Instagram to promote their work. But now the case has changed.
A few years back, Instagram changed the algorithm by dispersing the chronological order of the posts. Through a blog post, Instagram announced, ” The order of photos and videos in the feed will be based on users’ interest in the content, their relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
“As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order—all the posts will still be there, just in a different order,” the Instagram team added.
Instagram received a lot of backlash for the change from users and creators back in the day, and a similar situation can be seen in 2020 too.
How does Instagram Algorithm work in 2020?
Instagram’s ultimate focus and business model is to keep the consumer engaged on the platform for a long time. Every change introduced on the platform is to grab the attention of the users and keep them busy on the platform as long as possible.
In the beginning, Instagram used the chronological order to display posts. The newest posts were shown first, and then other posts followed. Though it was simple, it wasn’t the best for engagement rates.
It also launched a few features like Instagram Guides and Reels so that the user does not shift to any other platform to consume content.
The new Instagram algorithm:
Recently, Dave Talas, who teaches Instagram marketing to entrepreneurs and teaches Instagram courses, uploaded a thread on his account explaining that Instagram doesn’t change the algorithm. The algorithm changes the algorithm based on the data it receives.
The Instagram algorithm is data-based and uses machine learning. It means that it’s always changing according to the data. It’s continuously improving and getting better.
The motive of changing to the new algorithm is to cater to the audience with the best content on the platform. In simpler terms, what will keep people engaged on the platform, and what will be the driving force to keep them coming back for more?
The drop in a content creator’s engagement is not because of the Instagram algorithm, it’s because the audience is not interested in the content anymore.
Less engagement is feedback from the audience to the creator that the content is repetitive or boring and needs to be changed ASAP.
What the Instagram algorithm actually does is:
- Looks at the user’s interest:
The algorithm analyzes users past behaviours on Instagram like:
- Posts they’ve viewed
- Posts they’ve liked
- Posts they’ve commented on
- Posts they’ve shared
- Friends they interact with
- Stories they watch
- Posts they’re tagged in
The Instagram algorithm also uses image recognition tech to analyze the content of each post.
- Shows recently shared posts on top:
Instagram algorithm serves the most recent and relevant post to the user. Recent posts are most up-to-date and tend to gather more engagement rather than a week old post.
- Looks at how close the user is to the account:
Users tend to engage more with accounts that belong to friends and family. The Instagram algorithm takes advantage of that and pushes posts with which the user has interacted more in the past.
- Calculates app usage:
Instagram Algorithm calculates how much time the user is spending on the platform as it digs deeper into the catalog to find out user interests and provide them with a variety of options.
The main job of the Instagram algorithm is to put high-engagement, relevant posts first on the feed of the user.
Bursting myths about Instagram algorithm:
As mentioned above, most creators feel that Instagram is not supporting their content and pushing only the content of some top creators on the platform, which is not how it works.
All creators have appealed to their followers to turn the post notifications on so that they get notified whenever the creator posts a new video or photo. They are also requesting the followers to like, share, and comment on the posts for better engagement.
Since there is no clarity on the algorithm among the Instagram community, many myths are floating on the app.
- The Instagram algorithm does not hide any post from any creator. Everyone can see everything if they keep scrolling.
- No extra benefit is given to creators who use the latest features like IGTV or stories. It’s all based on the audience’s preferences.
- There is no such thing called ‘ shadowbanning’ on Instagram. It does not hide the posts from users who don’t follow the creator.
How can creators tackle Instagram algorithms?
The only way to win over Instagram’s new algorithm is to increase engagement on posts. That’s the way creators will be able to push their content at the top of every user’s feed.
If you’re a creator, then:
- Analyze your previous posts and see which posts had a better engagement. Revolve and revamp your strategy around that. You can use Instagram analytics to see what’s working and what’s not.
- Create unique content. The audience might not appreciate the same version of content on different accounts. If you create a unique piece of content, it’s more likely to be noticed.
- Be consistent with posting. If you post consistently, more people will notice the content, and it’ll help your profile grow on the platform.
- Spread and strategize your content for every feature like stories, IGTV, Reels, and Guides. But try to stick to your niche while you’re creating content.
There is no particular hack for creators on how to handle the new Instagram algorithm. It’ll keep changing based on the data it gets, so finding one hack that can cure all issues is not possible. But what creators can control and do is to solidify their strategies so that it works on an algorithm on the platform. As for the current situation, just keep creating content and keep getting better at the craft. That’s the ultimate solution to handle the Instagram algorithm.