Like other social networks, the content on Instagram is governed by its algorithm , which determines what is relevant enough to appear among the highlights. The Instagram algorithm reviews all the content to obtain all the information between its elements and the reaction of the users, and then shows the ones that it considers most appropriate for the user experience.
As is logical, Instagram seeks to increase engagement , and conditions the way of doing things for an adequate marketing strategy.
How has the IG algorithm evolved, what changes are already underway and what will be done in the future?
Evolution of the Instagram algorithm
The Instagram algorithm has been adapting as the platform has. At first it was all photos, then the videos came, later the reels and the IG Live.
The degree of user interaction has gone to the correct use of hashtags, the quality of the content and the value provided by the images.
At the end of 2021 the algorithm focused mainly on:
- Encourage reels.
- Give more attention to the pieces of content that users save most frequently.
- Prioritize user interaction during the first moments of the publication.
- Carousels of images in the same publication.
Instagram algorithm changes in 2023
In 2022, the Instagram algorithm has undergone significant changes , which have affected the visibility of content, in some cases reducing its organic reach by up to 90%.
These changes mainly influenced the possibility of appearing as featured in the profiles of users who are not yet followers. Also in the featured hashtags and Explore section.
However, in February the algorithm changed again, albeit temporarily, returning to the factors prior to the change. Although this does not mean that everything goes back to the way it was before.
In fact, there is a social network that is leading the way and pushing Instagram to make more changes to its algorithm.
The impact of TikTok
The data indicates that the audience of Instagram is no longer growing, but has reached its maturity phase .
In addition, the significant decline in networks such as Facebook has led many brands to focus on posting on IG, resulting in a saturation of content on this social network .
However, there is something even more relevant that is causing the Instagram algorithm to change again: the rise of TikTok.
Some of the keys to TikTok’s current success and audience growth are:
- Authentic content . Users see people interacting with the product, not just a perfect, artificial image.
- Dynamism . TikTok shows content creators on the move, showing their faces and doing things. It is not a static photograph showing only the product.
- Closeness . The user can identify very easily with what he is seeing because it is other users who appear in everyday scenes of his day to day life.
- The moment is important . TikTok gives much more visibility to both the product itself and the moment it is consumed, not so much whether the person showing it is an influencer or someone anonymous.
- Vertical format . Most users use their mobile phone to consume content, and TikTok uses the 9:16 format.
All this is leading Instagram to apply new changes to its algorithm for 2023 , and it is already beginning to prioritize content that follows these guidelines:
- Dynamic content vertical format . The reels become an essential part of the strategy to stand out, to the detriment of the static image.
- Priority is given to the image in general, but perfection is not sought. Audiences want real stuff, and IG’s algorithm makes it more relevant.
- Users choose how to filter content . The algorithm analyzes how you behave to give more relevance to the posts you have liked, the profiles you follow and the time you spend watching a certain video, carousel or direct.
How to get the most out of the changes in the Instagram algorithm?
Instagram knows that it must adapt to the trends set by users, and you also have to do it to make the most of your brand’s presence on this social network.
Pay attention to these factors:
- Post often. The Instagram algorithm gives greater relevance to profiles that publish at least 2 weekly posts. If you do it every day, even more than once, the better.
- Increase user retention. Instead of static images, take advantage of video formats, image carousel and reels to get more retention time.
- Create valuable content. The content should be informative and entertaining. If it is just advertising or irrelevant, users will leave in a few seconds and the algorithm will take it into account.
- Encourage interaction. The more likes, comments, mentions or times a content is shared, the more possibilities you have to increase your presence on Instagram.
- Go vertical. Users use their mobiles to view their favorite content on social networks. Seize it.
- Analyze the statistics. See which hashtags are working the best, the hours of greatest interaction and which is the type of post that works best.