New Instagram Algorithm Update and What You Need to Know

This blog is all about helping entrepreneurs just like you to stay on top of the latest social media trends so that you can grow your business using the power of content. 

In this blog post, we’re going to be talking about the latest changes to Instagram and what this means for you as an entrepreneur, building their business using social media. Let’s dive right in. There are two big changes that you need to be aware of. 

I’m going to talk about the first one first, and it’s the one that everyone blew up about. And then I’m going to talk about the second one, which not that many people picked up on but I think it’s way, way more important. 

FIRST CHANGE: Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app

The first big change that you need to know about is that Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app. Dramatic. I know. Adam Misseri, who is the head of Instagram made a huge announcement, basically saying that Instagram was no longer a photo sharing app. 

If you find this video here, where he made this announcement, and scroll down to the comments, you’ll immediately see that a lot of people just aren’t happy. I think there was actually quite a big misunderstanding here from some people by looking at the comments. It doesn’t mean that photos are no longer going to exist on Instagram, it just means that: 

Photo content won’t be as favoured as video content 

So let’s talk a little about the algorithm. I think that understanding how it works is super important. Many people think the Instagram algorithm is like some evil dude sitting in the Instagram headquarters and wondering, “right, how can I screw everybody over?” That’s not how it works. 

The algorithm is based on machine learning. That means that these giant computers are watching our behaviour, watching the data, watching how we interact with the app. The people on Instagram use that information to make their decisions.

It is all in the data

It’s not just these trends that Instagram thinks will happen. They’re actually seeing these trends already happening in the way that we use the app. 

This isn’t just some speculation on their part, I can assure you that Instagram has invested millions into actually doing this research and analysing that data. Our user behaviour indicates our favourite video content, whether it is Reels, Stories, IGTV, or photos. So I do understand in a lot of those comments, there were people saying:

I don’t like this, this is not how I use Instagram, I come on here to look at photos. 

That may be true. But the truth of the matter is, is that the majority of people or the general trend is that Instagram users are favouring video content. That is exactly why Instagram is pushing it. 

All I want to say is that this is a really good thing. What it means is that good content is actually going to be favoured. The way I see it is that there were a lot of these accounts that just were kind of like spam fake accounts that just did a lot of like photos on their feed and didn’t really do much else. I think these accounts are just going to die now. They’re not going to exist, which could only be a good thing, because it just means that the standard of content on the platform will be better. 

GOOD content is going to be favoured

Not only that, but I also see this as a way of favouring content creators. So this is really going to help people that actually do take a lot of care and put a lot of time and effort into creating good quality content, it’s going to favour them and hopefully mean that that good content is going to get seen by more people. 

SECOND CHANGE: RECOMMENDATIONS

Now the second big change, which I believe is far, far more important. I don’t know why it didn’t get so much attention because of recommendations. So Instagram is essentially going to change how it serves content to you. Before I dive into the specifics, I just need to say that this is all speculation. 

Adam Misseri literally gave us a little bit to work with. Now we’re speculating on what might happen. So this is by no means certain, but just going off of what he said, This is what I think it means. So let’s have a quick listen to what he actually said about recommendations.

‘’So what you’re going to see over the next couple of months really is that we start to experiment more in the space of what we call recommendations to show you things in feed that you may not be following yet. We just started testing an early version of this last week. This week is a new version that’s coming out with topics where you can say which topics you want to see more of or less of.’

So as you can see, that is a pretty big change. At the minute you only get certain content on your feed from people that you choose to hear from so people you follow. Whereas now it’s going to be a lot more like tick tock and YouTube Instagrams, two biggest competitors, where you will get served suggested content and I think this is really be really interesting because at the minute, the only real way to get discovered on Instagram is via hashtags

Like everyone knows that it’s really, really hard to find content on Instagram. Actually, hashtags are such a pain to use, and they’re really not the best method of being found. So if you think about hashtags on other platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, they’re pretty much obsolete, because it’s so much easier to find good content in a different way. On Tik Tok, it’s very much what you’re served. So the suggested content is really similar to what you like. On YouTube, we have amazing search capabilities. 

I think this is a sign of Instagram trying to be more competitive by having an easier way of finding content. Again, everyone completely blew up about the fact that Instagram is trying to be like TikTok and trying to be like YouTube.

THEY ARE INSTAGRAMS COMPETITION!

They’re just looking at what’s working on there, and then they’re adapting it. I don’t think Instagram is going to become TikTok or anything like that. 

As I said earlier, this is just them looking at the data, and adapting the platform so that it remains competitive. So with the changing recommendations, I see this as more of an opportunity to go viral, because now your content is going to be suggested and shown to people that don’t follow you and you have more opportunity to get seen other than just hashtags. 

What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur? 

Firstly, please don’t panic and don’t take this as a bad thing. If the algorithm changes, you need to adapt to it. It is always going to change, so it doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel and say Instagram doesn’t work, just that you should tweak your content strategy slightly. 

The way I would tweak that going forward is firstly to do more IGTV. Secondly, Reels are the absolute best way to grow on Instagram right now. 

I challenge you to do them. I know that it can be a little bit difficult because I like a new content format. You just need to be consistent. 

Before deciding whether reels work or not, I would recommend that you work on them consistently for three months. You can find more information on how to do it easily and quickly in my other blog posts.

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