In the first quarter of 2019, the Instagram algorithm is what everybody is talking about. Instagram has been making an incredible amount of changes to their platform with hopes to bring it back to content focused rather than a popularity contest. Last month Instagram (or Facebook) had their conference revealing new updates, releases and a bit of an insight into how their algorithm works.
Here is your full breakdown of everything we learned about the new 2019 Instagram algorithm. We will cover Shadow banning, Business profiles, and how you get more reach.
HOW IT WORKS
The first thing you need to know about the new Instagram updates and changes is that every person's feed is specifically tailored to their actions and behaviors. The algorithm is based on machine learning, the more you engage with something the more you are likely to see content like that or from that user.
The Algorithm also makes assumptions about the content you engage with and post as well. If you decide to post a photo and tag somebody in it all the time, Instagram will treat these users as "friends & family". One of the big pushes the platform wanted to do was create a way for users to see more friends and family showing up in feeds. So rather than in 2017 and prior it was 50% friends 50% other content, it is now close to 80% friends and 20% other.
Summary: Instagram is making you see more friends and family and classifying those as people you tag frequently. New posts are seen first, friends are shown more and is it something you usually engage with.
This poor little AI system is trying its hardest to make everything great for everyone. Here's why that's a problem. Users who use Instagram once in a while will see what the algorithm thinks is important for them to see, essentially it's just giving you the highlights since the last time you logged in and viewed your feed. On the other hand, if you are an avid Instagrammer and you keep scrolling for hours on end, the algorithm tries it's hardest to pull everything from its library(the people you follow) but sorts it based on relevancy to what you would want to see. So technically it's semi chronological manipulated feed.
Summary: things are semi chronological but based on what you engage with more and as you keep scrolling down the feed for longer and longer it becomes less relevant but still chronological.
MYTHS AND LEGENDS
Are Shadow bans a thing and why am I being targeted?
You are not being targeted and this is not a thing. Over a year ago there was an algorithmic bug that would not show you to people often because of you spamming content with the same tags and hashtags. However, we know for sure that in 2019, shadow banning is not a thing and it's all about your timing and content you create. This means you can hashtag to your heart's content and post as much as you want without being "Shadow Banned".
Are Videos better than Photos?
Everything is based on the user, If someone engages more with video content they may see more video content if they engage more with photos they will see photos. Instagram will not give priority to video or photo as it now treats all content the same, this is all up to the algorithm for the specific audience. The only way to truly rank higher is to create great content.
Business profile or personal profile?
There is NO benefit to switching to personal or business, it's a myth. I thought this was a thing for the longest time but I have been proven wrong and my content was just bad. Switching to a business profile will not place you lower in the rankings of feeds.
If I post multiple times a day will I be ranked lower?
No, your content is not lowered in a ranking because of the number of times you post as covered above. The more you post the more opportunity for people to see your work. So really it's not a bad thing to post multiple times a day on stories or photo/video.
All of our fears have been debunked and now we have to accept the fact that if we don't have as many likes or comments as we usually have, it's because our captions or photos were not as awesome as they could have been.
Sorry for bursting everybody's bubbles.