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Instagram introduces news feed algorithm

We’re using Instagram (400 million users) on a daily basis for clients so when one of the world’s most popular image sharing networks introduces an algorithm to serve the most relevant content to its users, we stand up and listen.

Of course, Instagram owner, Facebook (1.6 billion users) implemented this technology a long time ago. Uproar ensued, as with any update to Facebook, but since then it has largely become the norm. The much smaller Twitter (320 million users) added the feature last month, so Instagram is simply following a larger trend.

So what is the trend? Essentially – too many ruddy posts! We’re all following too many people and brands. On a network such as Instagram it is easy to follow everyone and anyone – friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, influencers, brands we like, hell… even brands we don’t like, sometimes.

This causes a little clutter, and Instagram is simply doing a little housekeeping. With the potential of thousands of posts per hour filling someone’s feed, did we really think chronological order was here to stay?

For brands, this means a fight to the top.

The new order is built on relevance. How likely is a person to like what they see? Instagram claim to have built an algorithm based on relationship and past history of likes, comments, tags and so on. Brands are going to need to try harder to reach a person’s feed.

It will be interesting to see the effect this has on the accounts we manage for our clients. An initial reaction is of course to fear the worst. But we’re confident at Fox HQ that the engaging content we’re posting on behalf of clients will only benefit from the change.

Let us know how your brand feed gets on with the new algorithm in the comments below.