Instagram Switches Up its Algorithm (Again)

In 2016, Instagram committed a sin that users haven’t stopped talking about since: switching from its staple chronological feed to a relevancy-based one.

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Since then, users launched a bout of complaints regarding their feeds becoming clogged with four-day-old posts.

It appears that Instagram has taken the criticism to heart as the platform announced this past Thursday its intention to create a more coherent and “timely” experience for everyone’s feeds.

“We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top,” Instagram representatives stated via the social media company’s blog. “So today we’re testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically.”

The ability to tap a “New Posts” button for more recent content isn’t the only promise Instagram pulled out of its sleeve. The company also ensured users they are working to re-prioritize newer posts, so fresh content is more likely to appear first in their feed.

While it isn’t a return to their strictly chronological posting order of pre-2016, the news is being met with general nods of approval by its most avid users.

The change might have been a soft-response to the movement of many famous influencers and artists shifting their popular content over to Vero – an app that touted itself as the “Anti-Facebook and Instagram.”

But why did so many personalities that had long called Instagram their home contract a sudden yearning to jump ship?

Their main reason – algorithm changes.

The effect on branded content from creator and business accounts was almost instantly negative. The non-chronological algorithm implemented in 2016 curbed brand’s overall reach and audience engagement, prompting them to use sponsored content to make up for the deficit.

While the announcement of a more time-based feed and “New Post” button is still early on, Instagram seems to be catering not just to benefit their user experience, but that of its bread and butter too: businesses, brands, content creators, and influencers.

Having trouble keeping up with social media and all of its practices? We can help! The team at KWSM has the experience and knowledge to help you manage your channels. If you have any specific questions, we host our own Facebook Live show, Social Media Help Desk, where we take an in-depth look at what’s profitable and trending in all things social media marketing. Or, you can always reach out to us here.