April 19, 2016 By integrate

Big Changes for Instagram

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With a staff as stellar as ours, you know that Integrate is always up-to-date on the latest trends on all social media platforms, and we’re here to update you on the latest. Earlier this year, we told you about the algorithm changes Facebook would be making and how it would affect your news feed. Now, it looks like similar changes will be coming to Instagram.

If you don’t know the backstory, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and company marketers were quick to follow the personal users to the app. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said “98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertise on Instagram.” Since Facebook owns Instagram, the company has decided to change the current algorithm on Instagram to match the new algorithm on Facebook. Like its big brother, Instagram would no longer be showing images in chronological order. Instead, posts would be shown in an order based on these criteria; the likelihood of the user being interested in the content, the relationship the user has with the person posting (do you like their posts often, or scroll past them?) and the timing of the post. While Instagram believes this new algorithm will improve your feed by showing you only what you want to see, this news was met with negative reactions. Instagram users are not happy that they might be missing posts, and businesses are worried their posts might be missed if they aren’t interacted with enough. According to an article in Entrepreneur, people were so upset with this new update that there was even a petition on Change.Org asking Instagram to keep the chronological order of the feed.

What does this mean for companies?

Some small businesses that use Instagram for revenue are concerned that they will be punished by this new algorithm. According to an article written on Huffington Post, this concern might be true to an extent, but “if the new algorithm does its job right, those brands will still be reaching customers who are passionate about their products and actually like, comment on and share those photographs with frequency.” Meaning that the people who already follow the brand will continue to do so and will continue to interact and share posts. Some of these Instagram accounts have asked followers to turn on post notifications to ensure no new content will be missed, but the request has been met with a negative response. We’re advising our clients against making this request, as it can come off demanding and unnecessary…not to mention annoying, which could lead your followers to actually unfollow you, instead of just continuing to interact with your content.

Image from PocketNow.com

We agree with this article written on NY Mag, in that the best way for Instagram consumers to adapt to this new algorithm is to simply keep interacting with the accounts and brands they like. The best way for brands to overcome any possible challenges with this new algorithm is to remain as engaged as possible with followers by liking their photos, responding to all comments and commenting on their pages when relevant and public. Because followers will continue liking, commenting, and sharing these images, Instagram will continue to show posts from the brand accounts. Similar to the changes we told you about on Facebook, while some of these Instagram posts will not go to certain users, “the publisher will be able to focus on users who show similar niche interests to the brand.”

In other news, hidden in all the concern about a non-chronological feed, videos posted on Instagram can now be up to 60 seconds long!

Social media is a big part of what we do here at Integrate, and it’s our job to stay up to date when anything on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may change. Keep checking out the Back 9 for the latest.