It’s taken Instagram a long time to respond, but for the past year, users have been complaining about their feed and the way in which the app displays posts based on relevancy.
Initially, Instagram used a chronological ranking system and users saw the latest posts when they opened the app. A change in 2016 meant users would still see day-old posts and miss out on fresh content.
As of yesterday, a statement on Instagram’s blog suggested that they will now prioritise the date and push it higher in the ranking system. This will result in more weight given to a newer post and it’ll prevent older content showing up high in user feeds.
Instagram state that their goal is ‘to be the best place to share and connect with people and interests that matter most to you’. It’s important to note that Instagram will still use a number of other factors to ultimately decide which posts we see. This includes the relationship to the person, levels of interaction with content and more…
On top of that change, a new refresh button is also being tested. This will disable the auto-refresh feature allowing users to decide when to refresh their feeds. Similar to other social apps, users will stay up to date with the latest content, as opposed to what the algorithm decides to show.
How does this affect brands? Well, two things: there will have to be an increased focus on the time that content is posted and constant observation and analysis of content engagement. Using tools to monitor and analyse data, brands will have to figure out when their audiences are most active and leverage these finding to ensure their content is surfaced at the right time, all the time.