Monday, March 28, 2016

Instagram algorithm may hurt some brands

Instagram is about to undergo a major change.  Many of us receive what seems to be an infinite amount of meaningless posts.  Today, posts from companies we follow ask us to turn on post notifications out of concern that upcoming changes will hurt their brand.  Instagram is about to turn on its algorithmic feed which has companies worried that their ads are going to disappear from our feeds.

People who follow hundreds of accounts can receive dozens of new posts per hour.  It's becoming impossible to differentiate between posts valuable posts and not-so-valuable posts and marketers have to be concerned about that.  Instagram is certainly concerned because if user experience, fewer people will use the app.  To solve this problem, Instagram's algorithm will put the best photos at the top of our feeds.  If posts don't perform well, Instagram won't show those posts to other followers.  No wonder some marketers are in panic mode.  The very same people who spent countless hours increasing the number of followers they have will soon have to worry that their posts will be seen by only a small number of followers.  Basically, Instagram's new algorithm is forcing marketers to compete for our attention by creating "good" posts.

Adding to the concern is the fact that Instagram doesn't provide any analytics so companies won't know how many people view their posts.  As a result, they can't perform any A/B testing to determine which posts are "good" and therefore will be viewed by all their followers and which posts are "bad" and will therefore only be viewed by a small number of followers.  Some speculate that Instagram is doing this in the hopes that marketers will pay for ads on Facebook instead of getting publicity for free on Instagram.    

Here's a post showing the reaction to the change...

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