How to leverage Instagram's algorithm

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In recent weeks, a post has been circulating on lnstagram stating that the platform "has changed its algorithm for creators so that only 7% of fans see their articles". It then invites followers to like and comment "yes" because, as the message promises, it will then allow you to see all this page’s future posts in your news feed.

This message has grown so much, has been followed by so many brands, that Instagram has deemed it necessary to react publicly to deny any discriminatory modification of the algorithm.

Quick Instagram algorithmic history

In July 2016, Instagram switched from reverse chronological feed to a posts classification algorithm after observing that users of the app missed 70 percent of all messages and 50 percent of their friends' messages.

Today, Instagram says that sorting by relevance has allowed more than 800 million users to see 90% of their friends' messages and spend more time on the application.

Nevertheless, this virally shared message isn’t totally wrong. Indeed, by liking and commenting on a post, a follower is more likely to see the content of that page in his/her feed in the future. Instagram has never denied this. Quite the contrary. This is highlighted in its documentation on using the platform.

The primary objective for a creator, a brand or any person who wishes to position themselves as an influencer on Instagram, is to produce highly attractive, entertaining, informative and evolving content that encourages their audience to interact with it.

Three main factors determine the content of an Instagram news feed

Interest: Instagram uses machine learning based on users’ past behaviours and interactions with accounts they follow, to predict and promote posts likely to interest them, in particular through the visual analysis of images, and thus create unique and personalised news feeds.

Recency: Instagram takes into account the date on which the post was shared, with priority given to new posts rather than those that are several weeks old. Regularity is your ally.

Relationship: Instagram measures how close you are to the person or brand that shared a post, with a higher ranking of accounts with whom you have interacted a lot in the past through comments or tags.

Breaking down myths and speculations of all kinds

Last spring, the Instagram team also answered the most common questions about how its news feed works:

  • Instagram does not favour users who use Stories, IGTV, or other special features of the application.

  • Instagram does not give personal or professional accounts a privileged presence in the news feed, so changing account will not help you better achieve your objectives.

  • Instagram does not hide contents of accounts that display too many hashtags.

Conclusion

Certainly, as more people and businesses are joining Instagram and publishing more regularly, while user browsing time remains relatively stable, the average message will be drowned out and receive fewer views. Some users will inevitably complain that Instagram is trying to force them to buy advertising, but this is a natural and inevitable consequence of Instagram’s popularity. However, there are good practices to follow that will allow you to develop your page organically. Here are the main ones.

Setting up content production and distribution calendars can help you develop a more regular publication and thus build your audience on Instagram.

Also, be sure to schedule this content at peak times on your social networks – in the time zone you are trying to target – to increase the chances that your content will be seen by your audience.

Focus on targeting users who best match your ideal audience.

Be authentic in your Instagram growth strategy, the content you post and the captions you use in order to retain an audience that will feel in tune with your universe, your values and your offer and, as a result, will be more willing to comment.

Finally, I would like to transcribe a paragraph mentioned above because I cannot remind you enough of its importance when communicating on Instagram: the primary objective for a creator, a brand or anyone who wishes to position themselves as an influencer on this platform is to produce highly attractive, entertaining, informative and evolving content that encourages their audience to interact with it.


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