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Instagram Is Going Algorithmic

4 April 2016

What is it?

On the 15th March, Instagram announced that they will be updating their feed from its current chronological format to a more personalised feed in order to surface content that users care about most.

When is it available?

There is no official release date in Australia yet although we expect to see testing of this new format in the coming months.

What does this mean for our clients?

As a result of the platform’s huge growth, it is reported that Instagram users miss around 70% of the content they follow.

By presenting content at the top of the feed that is personalised, rather than chronological, users are more likely to see content they care about, including content from brands.

Instagram’s algorithm will determine what users see based on:

  • the likelihood people will be interested in the content,
  • the user’s relationship with the person or business posting,
  • the timeliness of the post.

Our top 3 predictions

  1. We expect this change will enhance the user experience, and increase time spent & posts viewed on the platform. By surfacing more relevant and personalised content, users will become even more engaged with the platform.
  2. This more sophisticated user experience will present greater opportunity for our clients to interact with their audiences on Instagram, and increase awareness of their activity leading to higher engagement and ROI.
  3. Now more than ever, high quality content will prove crucial to ensure brand exposure on the platform. Highly engaging and visually appealing content will be essential in order to succeed in line with the upcoming updates.

This is a huge positive for advertisers, as it will ensure that high quality content is shown to the most relevant users. Rather than focusing on what will happen to organic distribution in the long run, brands should be putting their efforts in ensuring they have a strong content approach that follows creative best practices – this is how they will get the most out of paid, owned and earned reach on Instagram, regardless of how the feed is ordered.

“We aren’t changing anything for a few months and we’ll give warning of when the date is set for the switch over. Before then we have a lot of testing to do with very small percentages of our user base globally over the coming weeks and months. Given this we don’t know what the impact will be for accounts and their organic distribution.

At this point in time, the proposed changes do not remove anything from a users feed, we are just re-ordering it to surface the most relevant posts first. All posts are considered equal so there is no weighting based on if an account is a user, a celebrity, a business, etc.”  Sophie Blachford – Head of Instagram AU.

Philip Pollock

GM of Performance Media

Overseeing both Programmatic and Paid Search, Philip has over 10 years experience in the industry and is our go to for all things performance.

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