The Recent Changes to Instagram and What they Mean for your Account | Thyme is Honey

I know this might not be a popular opinion, but I totally love the new Instagram logo and app design. As was their intent, the update’s clean aesthetic puts the focus on the images, and I love it.

But while most of the community was busy debating the new logo, Instagram also changed the way images display in your feed by altering their algorithm. Go ahead and call it sneaky, but distracting you with a cosmetic update while they make another major change to how the platform functions isn’t a new method.

And so, the newsfeed has officially changed (at least in the United States)! We talked about these potential changes briefly in March (read my post: Why Instagram Changes are a Good Thing), how they could effect your business and what to do, but lets review some of the key points.

  • Remember that Instagram’s job is to satisfy users
  • The new algorithm will help users see content that Instagram has determined is most important to them
  • The algorithm will look at content that user’s like and comment on frequently, and will put posts from those accounts prominently in their newsfeed
  • The key to keeping your content in user’s feeds is to continue to encourage engagement and interaction

For accounts who relied heavily on peak timing or heavy hashtagging to increase exposure, the new algorithm will likely cause a drop in your “likes”. But, for accounts who have an authentic, organic following, your engaged audience shouldn’t change. Those who were liking and commenting on your content should still see your images in their feed.

Try to avoid asking your followers to “turn on post notifications” (here’s why that’s a bad idea). If you notice a drop in numbers and are worried that people are not seeing your content, assess what posts are and are not working and then consider hosting a contest that would require users to like/comment on 5-10 of your posts to enter. Just remember that getting followers to engage momentarily is likely only a temporary fix, and that users will need to engage with your account on a regular basis to keep it in their stream.

I think the chronological aspect of Instagram was it’s best feature for many years—-I loved that it was like receiving little pieces of mail (grams!) in real time as your friends and family were out in the world doing things and snapping photos of it. But, like all good things, I guess it must end. I prefer to trust that Instagram knows what it’s doing, that brands who are creating engaging content and devoting the time to engage and interact with their communities will not suffer from the changes, and that 3 months from now everyone will have forgotten how things used to be.

Bottom line for Brands:  keep up the good work. Make beautiful content. Engage with your community. Focus on quality over quantity and don’t get hung up on numbers.

A Note to Users: wanna make sure you’re seeing what’s important to you? Like and comment on those posts so they show up. If you secretly love seeing images from an account, but rarely give them the benefit of a like or comment you can expect that their content won’t show up very often. You’ll need to visit their profile to see what they’re up to (ya stalker!). Remember that you can always Turn on Post Notifications for your BFF, favorite bloggers, beloved brands, etc., but know that doing so will send you a push notification every time that user posts.

Find us on Instagram: @Thyme_is_Honey!

Changes to Instagram and What They Mean

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