Since it’s start, Instagram has been the social media avenue most brands turn towards to market their products. Recently however, Instagram made a hefty change to their news feed algorithm and it’s not causing everyone to jump for joy.
Taking a Note from Facebook
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, decided to adopt its big brother’s news feed algorithm in order to serve its users better. Apparently out of all the material posted to each person’s news feed, users only see about 30% of it. The founders of Instagram want their users to have a better experience with that 30% and show each person the best content possible, related to likes and interests. Taking the user’s news feed and rearranging it in the most effective way possible is nice on Instagram’s part, but really it’s a way for the company to control the content.
Consumers Will Like This
Instead of seeing a lot of random, unwanted material on your news feed, the order of photos and videos in the feed will be directly related to the likelihood that you’ll find it interesting. Have you noticed on your Facebook feed there are far less pictures of friends from high school getting married and more posts from blogs and websites you follow? That’s not an accident, and is precisely what Instagram is trying to achieve with this change. The three main reasons you’ll see a picture on your news feed is directly related to: your relationship with the person, the likelihood you’ll be interested in the photo and the photo’s opportuneness.
What Does this Mean for Brands?
Brands who have invested large sums of time and money into marketing their products on Instagram will be severely affected by this change. The reason for this change in Instagram’s news feed is certainly tied to monetization. If you’re a big business with a big budget, the change won’t be as detrimental to your marketing as it will be for small businesses who don’t have the finances. Small businesses may need to rethink their branding and marketing strategies as a result of this change and look at other avenues – or lose engagement.
It’s All About Facebook
As the owner of Instagram, this is a great move for Facebook. Facebook has continued to grow at a speedy rate – a rate at which most companies can’t compete with. And with this growth comes added pressure to continue to accumulate a steady stream of users and revenue. As Instagram places a larger importance on monetization, Facebook will directly benefit. In 2015, Instagram raked in $600 million and is said to grow by 146 percent this year. This spike in growth will help Facebook’s steady growth rate as well.
Instagram may be just a way for you to share with a close network of friends and family what you’re up to on a daily basis. For others, it’s a means of survival. Businesses will have to adapt to the mathematically different way pictures are viewed and shared on Instagram and for some it may have negative consequences.