We’ve seen this before. Social media platforms slowly making changes to their algorithms to move popular posts to the top of an user’s newsfeed instead of placing them in reverse chronological order. Facebook did it in 2009. Twitter followed suit in February (much to the dismay of a lot its users), and now we see Instagram, a Facebook-owned entity doing the same.
What’s changing? Well, the most popular posts by users will begin to populate at the top of the timeline for the user based on what Instagram believes the user wants to see. No longer will the timeline only be in reverse order allowing users to look at what someone he/she follows posted 5 minutes ago then 10 minutes, but rather now its what had the most likes, comments, views, or relationship appearing first. Instagram phrases as it as ‘the moments you care about most.’ Well, okay. I guess you can think for me now (not really, but whatever).
What does this mean for brands? Just like the Facebook change, it’s not an entirely bad thing. If it’s based on a posts engagement and its a brand that the user is following and actually interacts with, it gives brands an opportunity to be top of mind even more so for that user. On Instagram, users that are following brands usually do have an actual interest in the brand and may actually favor the content. Also, it filters it out more so if Brand A posts 5 minutes ago and Brand B posts 6 minutes ago, but the user is more engaged with Brand B then that brand gets a better position in the timeline than Brand A.
There are its downsides as well. Users may not interact at all or minimally with brands they follow. Well, those may not be at the top of the timeline even though they just recently posted. Could force marketers to be more creative and engaging with their content on Instagram (which usually is the case anyway) to increase engagement.
This change isn’t all bad. It’s all in how you look at it. So let’s see how this plays out with Instagram.
Sheena Hunt | CEO and Marketing Strategist | Empowered Strategy
Boutique branding and marketing agency based in St. Louis, MO. We are focused on creating amazing, creative, and strategic content for clients that grab the attention of the consumer and drive sales. A great strategy is key to moving the needle in business and that’s what we do. We’re game changers. So, consider the game changed.