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New Instagram Feed Algorithm Vexes Users

Pipelined changes to the order of posts on Instagram news feeds have begun to take effect, much to the outcry of users. The controversial change means that posts will now be prioritised by an algorithm, as opposed to the original ‘most­ recent’ order.

The network’s scheduled departure from ordering posts chronologically was first announced back in March; apparently, as an answer to users missing out on an average 70% of posts across their feed. Responses at the time weren’t overly positive ­ one such user claimed that “now instead of 70 percent I miss close to 100 percent because I have no to desire to open up the app…

The new algorithm has so­-far been launched to an unlucky sub-­section of users and, according to a spokesperson for the network, will be rolled out “broadly and globally in the coming weeks.”

How does the feed algorithm work?

The change is similar to that made by Twitter last year. Instagram now prioritises posts that users are deemed to have already given the thumbs up too, such as those users who have previously been interacted with or those whose content has been engaged with. In this sense, the new feed is closer to a content discovery page than a traditional news feed.

Previously, many users resorted to scrolling in order to ‘catch ­up’ when they opened the app. Ironically, they are now unable to do this. Scrolling back through a feed with the new algorithm is seemingly endless as it lacks the ‘caught up’ endpoint of its predecessor. This is only good news for the network. By repeatedly serving up new and exciting content, they increase the likelihood that users will continue to discover new things and limit instances of disengagement.

Implications for businesses and marketers

One thing which has particularly been noted by users is the frequency and prominence of advertising and promoted content across the new algorithm. Instagram certainly haven’t hidden the fact that they are expanding the features that make the network attractive for business users and marketers.

The new algorithm could spell trouble for organic results. The trick will likely be encouraging users to engage with your content to ensure that future posts are still prioritised on their feeds -­ otherwise rates of engagement are likely to drop.

What are your thoughts on the new algorithm? Tweet us ­- @GiraffeSM.

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