Are you on Instagram? If so, you may have noticed some changes in what you see in your feed. On March 15, Instagram announced it will start rearranging the order of the posts a user will see. Instead of being arranged in reverse chronological order, Instagram will order posts according to the likelihood you will be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.
According to Instagram, users miss 70 percent of what’s in their feed, including great photos with tons of “likes” and posts by their best friends.
For now, all the posts will still be there, just in a different order, but eventually, low-quality posts might be filtered out entirely.
What do these changes mean to the average user? First, if you are like many and only check your feed once or twice a day, you won’t miss a friend’s (someone you usually like or comment on) photo if they posted it the night before. If it is something awesome, it could appear at the top of your feed even if posted 8 or 12 hours before.
This is very similar to how Facebook’s feed works and how Twitter recently reconfigured their feed to work.
Instagram’s new algorithm, a relevancy-optimized feed will make sure you don’t miss great content. You will be able to follow more accounts without the worry of missing favorites and you can keep up with international friends who normally post while you sleep.
On the negative side, remixing the feed will limit the usefulness of Instagram as a real-time content feed. New posts could appear at the bottom. Now everyone will have to worry about making their posts good enough to be chosen by the algorithm to appear in the feed.
This could hurt brands who were previously using Instagram reach as a reliable marketing channel. (Think about what happened when Facebook made changes)
Instagram knows if its users see few boring posts they will stay on the app longer. They also have waited long enough that Instagram is a part of people’s lives and they are not likely to leave over this change.
While it is great for Instagram and what we see in our feed, getting seen on social media has become more competitive. If we want people to see our posts we are going to have to up our game. Quality pictures and messages need to become the norm to stay in the game.
So now is the time to make sure you are posting quality photos and information. Get into the habit of making sure quality over quantity is the rule you are following for Instagram.