Remember how, back in March, Instagram announced it was switching to a Facebook-esque algorithm-fuelled timeline? And then everyone freaked out…
Since then there’s been various reports of how the Instagram algorithm has changed people’s experiences and how it’s filtering out content. But the thing is, for the vast majority of user, the algorithm hadn’t been switched on yet.
At the time of the ‘great freakout’, and the ‘Turn on Notifications’ avalanche, Instagram said:
And while a few users were in the live test group, for most, as Instagram noted, nothing had changed. Except their perception.
But your Instagram feed is most definitely changing – late yesterday, Instagram announced, via their blog, that the algorithm-fuelled timeline is now being rolled out to all users – and that the data from those who’ve had the algorithm has been largely positive thus far.
From the announcement:
“On average, people miss 70% of their feeds. It’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share as Instagram has grown. Over the past few months, we brought this new way of ordering posts to a portion of the community, and we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way.”
Instagram says the algorithm will be rolling out to all users over the next month, so if you’re not seeing it yet, you will soon.
How do you know if you have it?
“If posts in your feed are not arranged chronologically, then you have the new feed experience.”
There’s been much speculation about how Instagram’s algorithm will work, and the announcement earlier this week of brand profiles for the platform added to that complexity – will it be better to switch to a brand account or remain as a person, given the algorithm could have a different way of sorting brand posts?
All of that will become clear now as we get to actually see how users are affected by the algorithm, and what the algorithm uses as its key indicators of interest and subsequent reach.
As of right now, the only official explanation Instagram provides on how the feed algorithm works is via their Help Center:
“Posts are ordered based on factors like how recently the post was shared, your interactions with the person who shared it and whether you’ll find the post interesting. Posts you’re likely to care about most will appear higher in your feed, and we’ll continue to improve the feed experience over time as we learn more and hear feedback from the community.”
Which, of course, sounds very much like the Facebook News Feed.
One thing is for sure – your Instagram experience is about to change. Hopefully, for the better.
We’ll be working to keep you updated on how the algorithm works so we can help businesses better understand what they can and should do to maintain and improve their on-platform performance.
Source: Social Media Today