I have an opinion which is going to be quite unpopular with my fellow content creators, and that is that I am a fan of the Instagram algorithm.
As a digital marketer who specialises in content marketing, I bring a unique point of view to table – I believe that the algorithm, similar to Google’s infamous algorithm, is designed to force users to create better content, therefore creating a better user experience for everyone.
When content on Instagram was ranked chronologically, it meant that pages could flood your feed with content – they could have a posting frenzy with dozens of images that you’d have to sift through to get to anything else. Now, Instagram takes into account your past engagement, favouring types of content and posts from pages that you have liked or commented on in the past.
From the content creator’s point of view, the algorithm acts in a similar manner to Facebook’s algorithm, and pictures or posts which receive engagement will gain more momentum and be shown to more users.
So, from the perspective of an Instagram user, the algorithm means that I am seeing more of the content that I find more interesting and less of the content that I generally tend to scroll straight past. From the perspective of a page manager and content creator, I am being forced to consider my posts and message more carefully, and to create one great post rather than posting 20 pictures of my cat and hoping that one sticks.
In other words, we are trying to achieve the same level of likes and comments for one single post as what we previously received across multiple posts. Gone are the days where brands need to post hourly just to stay relevant and in people’s feed – one really really good post could continue to get engagement all day.
In my opinion – and again, probably going to receive some hate mail for this opinion – the only people who are throwing their arms up in the air, having a hissy fit and making a scene over these changes are the people with crappy content. The people who put minimal thought into their content and post willy-nilly are the people who are going to notice a severe drop in reach. The people who have used bots and dodgy tactics to amass big followings full of fake and inactive accounts are going to notice a big shift in their reach. But those of us who post good, meaningful content that is relevant to our target audience and following – we will barely notice any difference at all.