Instagram Is Changing Its Feed: Priority Given to "Best Content"

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Instagram is changing its feed from chronological to ‘best posts first’. 

Similar to parent company Facebook’s algorithm, Instagram will now display photos based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content”. All photos will still be shown, just in an order that prioritises content based on your relationship with that person, your history of interaction with that account, and the timeliness of the post. 

Mike Krieger, Instagram’s co-founder and chief technology officer said changes to the feed will be less disruptive than the changes seen at Facebook and Twitter. 

Instagram co-founders announced the change in a New York Times article on Tuesday. 

“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and chief executive of Instagram, said in the interview. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”

The changes will be rolled out slowly, with personalised news feeds integrated into the platform for each account.


What does this mean for brands?

Well, considering everyone is obsessed with posting in “prime time”, aka early mornings and evenings when there is said to be more activity, this could majorly change. Needless to say, brands won’t have to post in popular time periods to get the most interaction if Instagram prioritises “good content”. 

Therefore, brands will need to step up their strategic engagement with users. Less emphasis on frequency of content to capture users, and more focus on the quality of photos and engaging with the Instagram community. 

This could also mean sponsored content takes prime position on Instagram feeds. If popularity is continued to be sold to advertisers, brands could potentially win in this space. Then again, users can be extremely resistant to advertisements on platforms they are used to seeing their best friend's soy latte on every morning. 

Instagram’s change also signals another step forward for Snapchat. Snapchat is quickly replacing Instagram as the “go to” platform for immediate updates on friends and brands. Social media strategies will have to be adjusted so engagement is the primary focus, with brand's lifting their content game.