You might have seen a lot of this on Instagram this week:
From Boston Ballet to your friendly neighborhood blogger, it seems like everyone is concerned that their content is going to be rendered useless immediately. It’s easy to understand when considering a platform that relies on users’ capacity to scroll (and scroll, and scroll) and decide whether to engage with photo (after photo, after photo), but neither bloggers nor brands need to panic just yet. We’re here to dispel the most common myths circulating around social media news feeds and provide the hard facts of the situation so you can rest easy knowing you aren’t missing any of The Dogist‘s updates.
Fiction: The new algorithm turns on tomorrow and everything will be a non-chronological mess on your Instagram feed.
Fact: The new algorithm isn’t coming yet and Instagram promises they’ll give you a heads up:
We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.
— Instagram (@instagram) March 28, 2016
Fiction: To see your favorite blogger’s updates, you must manually turn on push notifications
Fact: Turning on push notifications for every account you like will do one of two things. If you’re an inbox zero type, it will make you insane because you’ll have another “ding” to address every time anyone uploads a photo. If your inbox hovers around 10,000, Instagram will join the ranks of completely useless notifications.
Fiction: The new algorithm, with or without post notifications, is going to cause you to miss out on a bunch of important content
Fact: Much like Facebook and Twitter, this algorithm change was a long time coming on a fast-growing and somewhat crowded platform. According to the Instagram announcement, most of the community is already missing the majority of content posted.
You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.
The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.
From what Instagram has shared so far, we can deduce that the more you interact with a person (or blogger, or brand), the higher up on your news feed they will appear. This is both good and bad news for marketers: your content has to be better and more engaging than ever, which means you’ll know exactly how tuned in your audience is. For more information about how algorithms affect social media marketing, check out this overview by TechCrunch.
Fiction: The new algorithm will make life much more complicated for social media marketers and brands
Fact: Actually, this one is true. The new algorithm will make life much more complicated for social media marketers and brands. We’re waiting with bated breath to hear if Instagram plans on rolling out metrics for marketers along with their evolving paid advertising options.
As usual, the masses turned to Twitter to voice their opinions and predictions. The general message: Don’t panic. Just be sure to double tap the content you want to see more of.
Don't turn on post notifications on Instagram. Just like my posts if u want to keep me in your newsfeed w/out annoying notifications. ❤️
— stylevoguette (@stylevoguette) March 28, 2016
This whole Instagram update is just so down the line you'll have to pay Instagram to be at the top of the feed.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) March 28, 2016
— Cara Waters (@carawaters) March 28, 2016