Finally, Instagram opened up an told everyone exactly how their algorithm works.
Update: June 5th, 2018
At the beginning of 2018, Instagram announced that there would be some updates to the algorithm but never explained precisely how it chooses what photos and videos will show up in your feed.
Now the mystery is over!
Everyone has a personalized feed.
Here’s a sneak peek at the article:
- How the Instagram algorithm is working
- Instagram engagement drop
- Main reasons why Instagram users get shadowbanned
- Tips on how to outsmart the Instagram algorithm in 2018
According to Techcrunch Instagram realizes on machine learning based on your past behavior or create a unique feed for everyone.
That means your Instagram feed isn’t based just on the account you follow, it is also based on who and what you like.
For example, if you are a fan of travel and you are looking at all the travel accounts you find, also, you comment, or like them, soon your feed will be full of beautiful exotic places.
To be more precise, three main factors determine the look of your Instagram feed, and this can be described in one word: prediction.
- Interest - they are analyzing your past actions, and the machine will analyze the posts that you may be interested in.
- Time - how recently the post was shared.
- Relationship - Instagram knows how close you are to the person who shared the post, how many times you were tagged in their photos, how much you interact with those shares – like or comment.
Some of the Instagram myths that the team busted:
- Instagram is not considering going back to chronological feed.
- Instagram does not hide posts in the feed.
- Instagram doesn’t favor people who use its’ special features, like Instagram Story or Live.
- Switching to a business account won’t give you extra feed presence.
Have you realized that your level of engagement on Instagram has suddenly dropped?
Lately, many Instagram users have been complaining that their followers count has drastically dropped, they are not receiving as many likes as they used to on their photos and their posts don’t show up under the hashtag that they have used.
All these complains have emerged because Instagram released a new algorithm update that greatly affected the strategies that many people currently use. On Instagram, shadowban actually hides your posts from other users who are not following you, a factor that can seriously dent your efforts of getting more followers.
This means that if you actually get shadowbanned on Instagram and then you go ahead and use hashtags, then only your current followers and you will see the post. Users who will not follow your searches will not see your posts.
Before Instagram algorithm update 2018 was released, users were allowed to use a maximum of 30 hashtags per individual post. However, if you are still using this strategy, then it is time to pull away.
Currently, users are advised to use 5-10 hashtags in the body of the post. If you use more, then Instagram will actually consider you as a spammer and you will be shadowbanned.
Less hashtags will be getting more engagement.
Pods / engagement groups
People began forming pods last year and within a very short period of time, they became very popular. Pods are actually group of people who have agreed to increase engagement for the group by commenting and liking when a member of the group submits a new post.
If you have been using pods then it is time to stop because they increase your odds of being shadowbanned. This is because Instagram has developed a way to know if a profile is using pods.
Bots liking or commenting
Instagram is now limiting exposure based on your engagement. You are now required to respond to comments that have been left on your post within 60 minutes.
Comments and likes that looks like are coming from bots such as "Love it!", "Great pic!", "Nice!" among many other now don’t qualify as engagement.
An Instagram profile must type more than four words to count as an engagement.
1. Engage with your followers
Instagram is all about connecting and engaging with other people. If you really want to outsmart the new Instagram algorithm, then you need to constantly engage with your audience. Respond to their question promptly and give them satisfactory solution that will make them happy.
2. Be responsive
The new Instagram algorithm update demand that comments should be replied within 60 minutes. You therefore need to make quick responses within the first hour of posting.
If you get more comments within the first hour of posting, then Instagram will think that your post is important and worth sharing.
3. Micro-blog with your captions
Captions that provide a call to action or ask questions usually spark conversation with followers.
By micro-blogging your caption, you will start conversation with your followers meaning that they will spend more time viewing your post.
The latest Instagram algorithm favors accounts that followers spend time engaging. In addition to that, make sure prepare your captions well before you post them because no changes will be made once you post them.
See how creative is happygreylucky with her captions.
4. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are now important more than ever. Instagram has just added a new feature that allow people to follow hashtags just the way they follow other users. If you use relevant hashtags, then you will attract the right followers.
5. Don’t use same list of hashtags for each post
Using the same hashtag regularly is not a good idea for each post. If you do so, then Instagram will notice and will punish you. It is therefore very important to always use new and unique hashtag every single time. Find 5 unique hashtags each time you post.
6. Place your hashtags in the body of posts
Instagram will assume that you are a spammer if you use too many irrelevant hashtags and post them in the comments. Use Instagram hashtags in your captions instead of comments.
7. Always be using stories
Instagram stories offers variety of engagement opportunities such as the newest poll feature. The new algorithm update took into account all aspect of engagement including sending a story to someone or replaying to a story. The more you post stories on Instagram, the more your posts will show up in the feed.
8. Go back to basics and be real
Instagram basics include posting quality and relevant content, posting during active hours engaging with your followers, using relevant hashtags among many others. You need to be real so that other users can connect and engage with you.
Find your best time to post on Instagram. Consider these 4 key factors when deciding on the best time to post on Instagram:
- Your audience’s time zone.
- When your competitors are posting. Socialinsider shows you when they post.
- Your industry’s behavior.
- What you’re posting.
9. Be consistent
The new algorithm favors individuals who are consistent and build an aesthetic Instagram profile. Being consistent means posting content that your followers will enjoy and relate with. The content must be engaging, informative and attractive. Consistency will enable you establish good relationship with your followers.
10. Use Instagram analytics
Instagram analytics are very important because it provides you with crucial information that will really help you make informed decision especially if you have a business profile. If you have an individual profile, you can check your profile stats with Socialinsider.
11. Experiment new features
Instagram has added new features that you can take advantage of to get more followers. For instance, the explore feed is a new feature that allows you to see post of people that you follow as well as those that you don’t. You can also use the new follow hashtag feature. New features can give you an upper hand.
12. Conduct competitive analysis
Competitive analysis will help you know what your followers really want or expect from you. This is specifically important if you have a business profile. Extensive competitive analysis and benchmarking will help you give your audience exactly what they are looking for, a factor that will help boost your profile.
Using social media analytics tools like Socialinsider you can run a competitive analysis in minutes. Just add your top competitors or the indirect ones, influencers and the app will show you their engagement rates, when they post, which type of posts are they publishing and so on.
In conclusion, the latest Instagram algorithm update 2018 will help to streamline this social media platform and make it more efficient.
If you post relevant content, use relevant hashtags, respond to your audience promptly, then the new (any) Instagram update will favor you.
Start a free Socialinsider trial today and track your Instagram analytics! Report and analyze multiple profiles from one dashboard, quickly evaluate your Instagram performance based on the metrics that matter, understand your hashtags performance and get Stories analytics!