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Expert Advice: What The New Instagram Update Means For You

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Instagram update, new instagram algorythm

A lot of people have been panicking about the new Instagram update. I am no exception! Even though Instagram announced today that they won’t be changing our feeds right now, the update is still going to happen.

It’s frustrating when you put a lot of time and effort into growing your account, curating your feed and following the accounts that interest you when suddenly Instagram announces “We’re now going to curate your feed for you!”. Soon instead of seeing the photos in your feed in chronological order you’ll only see what Instagram thinks you’re interested in which is determined by a new algorithm similar to the one Facebook uses.

Facebook and Instagram are the same company, so introducing similar algorithms isn’t a huge surprise. But the current Facebook algorithm sucks in my experience. You follow a page because you wan to stay in touch and then it vanishes because you didn’t hit ‘like’ on every single post they posted. That’s probably what’s going to happen with Instagram.

They say they are doing it to make the app better or us but the truth is probably more about making money via advertising. At the moment, big brands, popular bloggers and Instagrammers are doing just fine without paying money to Insta. These users post great photos, use the right hashtags and quickly collect hundreds or thousands of new followers. Easy. But Instagram will bring all that to an end by showing posts based on ‘interest’ rather than chronological order.

What that means for us is posting beautiful photos and having a nicely curated feed won’t be enough to grow your account. Once the new update rolls out, you will have to pay for your posts to be seen. Instagram, the same like Facebook, doesn’t distinguish whether you’re a big brand with lots of cash to spend on social media or just a person. Once published, your post will fall into an abyss of the unseen, buried below posts that have been promoted by payment. As this article in Techcrunch says “The free ride is over”.

But wait, there’s more! Instagram started making these changes way before publicly announcing the update. According to SocialMediaToday, users have experienced major declines: follower growth down 93% and engagement down 70% in March 2016 compared to March 2015. Why? Because Instagram has already started experimenting with your feed! We just don’t see all the posts from people we follow anymore. I noticed I don’t see my own posts sometimes when I switch from my personal @CrashingRed to professional @So_Nailicious account. Apparently Instagram believes I’m not interested in my own posts! That’s already happened a few times, imagine how it will affect your Instagram account once they roll out this update completely.

However, some see this update as a potentially good thing, particularly for blogger and experienced Instagrammers. The new algorithm will be pushing up the most engaged with/interesting photos. Every Instagram ninja knows to post only their best photos because followers are discriminating. So maybe, just maybe, if you post very engaging content daily you’ll prosper from the change. It could result in more likes and follows thanks to potentially wider exposure. However, in this case more followers may be less likely engage with posts.

To sum up, it seems the negatives are likely to outweigh the positives. Judging by the changes Facebook instigated in the best interest of users, little good will come out of this Instagram update for anyone, even those willing to pay.

What are your thoughts on the update, do you have any reservations or do you see it as a potentially positive step?

– Maria, xx

More useful Instagram tips: learn what’s The Best Way To Grow Your Instagram regardless of the update and How To Take Great Instagram Photos because posting beautiful photos becomes particularly important now!

NEXT WEEK in our Instagram Tips series we will discuss the best ways to deal with the new update. I’ll be researching and experimenting with my Instagram accounts (I have 4! this, this, this and this) to identify the best strategies to utilise the new algorithm. Make sure you subscribe to our dedicated Social Media Newsletter – so you don’t miss this important post!

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  • Rianna Hurree

    Thank you for writing this, it sums everything up clearly! I’m not a fan of this update. As a new blogger, I can see it becoming increasingly difficult to expand and get noticed. Especially given that I don’t post everyday. They’ve sucked all the fun out IG!

    • I totally agree. It will become so difficult for new bloggers and brands to expand and get noriced via Instagram. At least, I and everyone who started using Instagram early had a couple of good years out of it. We still have FREE Twitter and Snapchat, however. The latter is pretty fun and easy to use.

  • This new social media policies are destroying my will to do efforts on FB and IG, I am not paying for something is just a hobby for me!

    • I guess soon we’ll be back in 2005. When social media didn’t exist, because it’s becoming quite anti-social. LOL SoNailicious is more than just a hobby for me, but still, I write all these posts, take photos and even film tutorials for everyone to see for free and no one pays me to do that either. And now Instagram, exactly like Facebook, makes it really hard for you, me and every blogger to engage with our community, followers and friends. I find it really demotivating. But let’s hope for the better! I’ll try to find some ways to beat the algorithm! ;)

  • Thank you for this post, it clears up the situation quite well. I’m so not a fan of the update, but if it will happen, it will happen.

    • Yep, that’s absolutely right! Instagram is a privately owned company and they can do whatever they want. And, unfortunately, users opinion means nothing to them. :(

  • Cat

    Hi Maria, thanks for this information! As long as my list of the accounts that I follow is still available to me, I plan to to just go to it and continue to enjoy accessing those accounts that way. But that doesn’t solve the problem of, what about those people who follow ME? Ugh. Isn’t it kind of predictably disgusting (and disgustingly predictable) how everything comes down to greedy money grubbers???

    • That’s a great idea, Cat! I often do the same. Just because of the timing sometimes I don’t see any posts from my faves. So I just go and check their accounts directly! x

  • Yeah I’m with you and honestly I see nothing but negative here. I’ve been working so hard on growing my instagram and it was my one chance at “making it” as a successful style blogger. Now my chance is gone. I see on FB that MAYBE 5% of my followers actually see my post because FB intentionally blocks my posts because they want me to buy ads. I’m not a big deal company, just a teeny tiny blogger without the budget of a big time company. So I am so incredibly upset with this. :( Another way for insta to make money.

    http://asequinloveaffair.com

    • Same here. It seems to me that Instagram also got ‘jealous’ of so many highly successful Instagrammers making money via sponsored Instagram posts. Rarely you’d see a post promoted by Instagram itself, but there was a stream of random sponsored posts by different bloggers/Instagrammers. This is going to end now, simply because these straight forward ad posts won’t be seen by anyone, even if you have 2 million of followers. Basically Instagram leaves no choice to advertisers but advertise via Instagram.

  • Monet

    Thanks for explaining all this! This change definitely makes me feel a bit hopeless as I just really started getting into the groove of building up my instagram just to have a chang like this happen. I specifically chose instagram because I felt like it was one social media where I feel like my work actually does get seen but now even that is taken away. Companies always make these changes that are “so the users can have a better experience” but really are more about putting more money in their pockets. I guess they figure if so many bloggers and the like can make extra money from their posts then they deserve a cut :/

  • Richter

    It all makes any kind of sense if you have a big enough number of followers. If you do not know how to get it then you can ask zen-promo com for help. It also has some services that allow you to get real followers as fast as Instagram limits allow to do it.

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