Instagram’s Algorithm

And The Rumored 10% Visibility

Recently, it has been rumored between influencers and users of Instagram that only 10% of your audience are able to view your posts. There’s no questioning that the newest updates to the algorithm have changed the way we are able to view posts from those we choose to follow. This speculation arose from lack of organic reach and engagement between all types of influencers and brands. There were complaints from a handful of Instagram users that they were missing post from their friends and were seeing content they didn’t necessarily care to see as much. So this segment of 'Topic Of The Week,’ we will break down the current Instagram algorithm and how to ensure proper engagement!

So this put into question, what’s going on with the current algorithm?!

Now this is quite a packed question — So let’s go back a few years …

In 2016, Instagram in particular announced that the scroll feeds would favor “the moments you care about.” The most recent (2019) update follows after Facebook’s 2018 pledge to “put family and friends first.” This was after an influx of feedback regarding how much marketing was taking place through the social media outlet. Each initiative typically followed after negative feedback on a particular aspect of the evolving algorithm. 

Both Facebook and Instagram, owned by the same company, are loyal to their users and constantly looking for ways to improve the platform. Not too long ago, there was an update that received so much negative feedback and backlash by so many people in a short span of time. Petitions were formed in protest from all types of creatives, which forced Instagram to quickly pull back the update. 

Flash forward to today — 

When seeing the growth Instagram has progressed through over time, you can’t deny the impact it’s created on our society today. As a platform used to connect, engage, enlighten and even promote, it has grown (quickly and at a fast rate) over the past eight to five years. Due to the time frame, the app has had to adapt to consumers needs and constantly changing trends. Because of that, some updates are fan favorites (like Instagram stories) and others aren’t happily accepted until a bit later (like when the location option was added). 

The most recent and mass complaint is that users aren’t seeing the post from their friends and family or favorite influencers due to post frequency of other people they follow but don’t necessarily care for as much. This follows another complaint of the app being too ad heavy. 

But consider this — this relationship you have with Instagram will always have a bit of give and pull. With that, the more time you spend on the app engaging with your following and outreaching to others that are important to you, the more favorable you become on the app. That means that not only will you see more content that you’re interested in from people and accounts that interest you, BUT you will increase how many of your followers can view you and your interests. 

The most recent algorithm is an evolving one. It is intended to grow with you in your like and comment habits. So if you’re using the app as a “ghost user,” someone who only likes post but doesn’t comment or engage with anyone else, then it’s likely that your scroll feed can’t properly evolve with your interests. 

 
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There has been zero confirmation on the 10% rumor from Instagram or the Facebook family on these allegations. In fact, Instagram did the opposite by going to Twitter and stating, “We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you're following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.”

Other important tactics: 

  1. Quality is key — High rankings on a scroll feed go hand in hand with quality content. The better and more conversational the content, the more likely your post is to sit higher on the scroll feed. This also goes for quality of each image as well.

  2. Consistent stories — Make Stories your new BFF! Especially if you don’t static post every day. Why? Because consistent stories that have a large reach will put your Story further up on the highlight reel. This will allow the story to reach maximum audience and have more people engage with your content, increase your impressions and maximize reach.

  3. Video content is your secret weapon — Your videos posted are more likely to be viewed in comparison to a single image post. Video content, whether it’s a 60 second video, a boomerang, a timelapse, or even a GIF, is more likely to perform better because of video autoplay on the scroll feed. This makes people stop, look and stay on your content.

  4. Don’t be afraid to go live — Your highlight reel is crucial to your content being viewed by your audience (and even more, if you’re not Private). It’s more likely to be viewed as it happens chronologically and is not based as much on like habits. Going ‘live’ is the golden ticket to the front of the line; it also notifies followers by putting your live feed at the top of your followers’ Stories feeds as well.

  5. Express your personality through captions — I’m sure as some of you have already noticed, creating long and captivating captions have proven to engage with your audience more than if you posted a single word or emoji. This isn’t necessary for each and every post but it does create more traffic especially when requesting followers to tag additional users or host some type of call to action.

  6. Power of the hashtag — Unfortunately, using hashtags are a bit more of a wild card. There is not a right number as to how many hashtags to use to ensure high engagement in a post. However, there is a maximum limit for how many hashtags to use on each post. You are allowed thirty hashtags between the caption and the comments you publish on one static post.

  7. Post during peak hours — This is an easier task when your profile is set to business profile as it gives you the breakdown of when your following is typically using the app. There are also so many different platforms you can use to monitor the same information. Planoly, Fohr, Hootiesuit and Iconosquare and some to name a few.

  8. Increase posting frequency — If you’re not on board with posting an abundant amount of times on your Story, consider increasing your static feed posting frequency. Plain and simple, the more you put your content on the app, the more likely it is to be seen from your following. The more engagement you receive, the higher your static post sit on the scroll feed.

So Dolls, keep this in mind the next time you’re perusing Instagram! Think about the longevity of a post and the conversational outcome before you publish it. Be intentional with how you use the app to connect with others and your scroll feed will show a more positive outcome.

 
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