In January 2018, Instagram presented a new algorithm.
What are its features? Firstly, only 10% of your audience see the content you publish. This 10% starts liking, commenting, and reading for a specific time. If the content has got lots of likes, comments, and shares in the first few minutes, then the remaining 90% will see it. Secondly, often our attention is distracted by bots. So, comments such as “Excellent”, “Amazing”, “Loved it”, “Beautiful”, and so on are no longer considered an activity.
If you write such comments, they will be ignored. The new algorithm considers the activity a comment which consists of at least four words or more. Thirdly, earlier, in one post, up to thirty tags could be used. Now the algorithm will count you as a spammer. Only if you use no more than five unique hashtags, Instagram will actively promote your photo. Fourthly, the hashtags written in comments to the post will no longer appear in search results.
Hashtags must be in the text of the post itself. Also, the new algorithm now has seven key components:
The popularity of publications. If posts show a high level of interaction, for example, get a ton of likes, comments, views, and reposts, then it signals to Instagram that the content is quality. That more people will want to see it, so the algorithm will roll out your publication for more users.
Relevance. When ranking a post, the social network now uses collected data about the interests of the user and the topics that attract him. Publications with identical or similar topics will appear above.
Selected accounts. Instagram always shows the publications of people close to you. This audience is defined due to the connections in Facebook, the presence of personal correspondence, likes, and frequent visits to your profile and pages associated with it.
Time. The social media network has not abandoned the chronology. So, of course, the post that was published recently is more likely to show above others. But if Instagram decided that publishing a week ago may interest you, it can also roll it out.
Profiles, which you frequently visit. When you search for a particular account and regularly view it, Instagram takes it as a fact that you are interested in the posts of this profile and show more content in the news stream so that you don’t have to look for the profile again.
Sharing posts. When you share a publication with other subscribers, Instagram will further consider your interest in this type of content and will also draw your attention to people with whom you have exchanged publications and will rank their posts higher.
How long you have been “stuck” on the post. The Facebook algorithm looks at the duration of your interaction with the content. Instagram is no exception. Using this data, it distributes higher posts which got more of your time.
Benefits for marketers
Instagram now defines the topics that the user is interested in and analyzes the main subject of your account. Then it uses this data when creating a custom feed. If you are interested in increasing the popularity of a commercial account, it’s time to pay close attention to three things.
The quality of content (photos and texts). It should be such, that readers got “stuck” and didn’t want to leave. You will have to make your posts stand out using the style of photos, the contents of texts, and a “chip” that others don’t have.
The quality of the audience. The interestingness of the content is more likely to be measured by the percentage of the subscribers who are liking the posts and how many comments they make. The more these indicators are, the more interesting the content from Instagram’s point of view is.
Communication. Any social network is created for communication, and Instagram is no exception. Want to make your posts seen by as many people as possible, then ask questions, respond to answers, stimulate discussions and exchange of opinions. Don’t respond to comments that looked rude. Prepare to communicate more with more people.
After a wave of panic and protests among the users of Instagram, the developers are considering the possibility to leave the chronological order as an option in the settings. But for those who are interested in the rankings of their posts, it’s better to stick with new changes.
How to help your posts get a wider audience?
More stories. And use geotags to appear in the search by location. And don’t forget the hashtags.
More videos. But only if the video is a bit interesting, funny, and unusual. Everyone has already realized that the video content is given more space. That’s why there’s a lot of it, so there’s the need to be creative. Otherwise, nobody will watch your content.
Involve users in gaming. It’s not just necessary to involve readers in communication by a question or vote, but make them start playing. The simplest example is the guessing of the book or movie. Also, you can organize more complex games in the form of quests.
Being not ideal. Polished and photoshopped pics will soon go into the oblivion. In 2018, it’s critical to show that you are alive. Not a faceless logo but a real person. A person who has a life, interests, and hobbies. Good qualities and shortcomings. And the upcoming trend will be not to be afraid to show yourself as not ideal.
Just in case, let’s repeat once again: the popularity of the post is not the primary factor, and you don’t need to buy views and perform other useless actions. Posts should be relevant to the interests of your subscribers. This is the principal guarantee of success.
Instagram strives to meet the expectations of users. So, its algorithm is continually being improved. And you must continually study the interests of your subscribers to stay in touch with new trends. Review the account management strategy and transform it from the “for me” to the “for the subscriber” format.
Being a part of the TemplateMonster team is a great pleasure. I write about templates, marketing secrets, presentation tips, and different CMS. Hope my articles will be useful to you. If yes - please leave me a comment. Besides that, you can also meet me on Quora.
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