For more than 400 million monthly users and a growing number of advertisers, Instagram is adding an algorithm that reorders pictures and videos in users' feeds based on their interests. It's a move marketers say was inevitable.
A recent study showed that engagement rates are dropping fast on Instagram, the developing team therefore introduced a new algorithm to let users see content they like or interact with and stay longer on the platform.
Common sense dictates that the more you see of what you like, the more you want to be immersed in it.
Having the most interesting content waiting for you on top of your newsfeed could also mean that new ad formats will emerge.
Wow images for brands
One thing is sure: To stay afloat, you need to swim. Instagram will remain an image and video sharing platform at its core, so brands should take this into account. To stay relevant, they will have to abide by the rules, and produce exceptional content that will attract engagement and offer them a premium spot on users’ timelines. Otherwise, they will have to brace themselves for Instagram obscurity.
Offering more than just photos
For all social media sociologists, the latest development is the most solid proof that Instagram is now a maturing platform. A sign of maturity for some is a sign of opportunity for others. Instagram engagement slipped significantly between 2014 and 2015, but the social platform still outperforms Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. This might have happened due to users miss 70 percent of the posts that show up in their feeds, meaning they only see 30 percent of the content posted by users and brands they follow. The developer team at Instagram aims at correcting tendency.
"As a much more simple visual and mobile-first platform, it'll be interesting to see if Instagram will factor image recognition and location into relevance to make up for lack of sophistication or if it'll rely on Facebook data," said Tom Buontempo, president of KBS' Attention.
"If we're creating content that is truly relevant and engaging for our fans, we hope that any algorithm won't hurt our chances of reaching fans," claimed Kevin Del Rosario, associate director of social at Huge. "Algorithms were made to cut out the clutter, so it urged brands to 'cut the crap' in terms of content, too."