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Instagram updates its feed algorithm

Updated: May 3

The platform will be prioritizing original and emerging creators

After weeks of telling creators to “stop crying” about their reach and follower counts in the app, Instagram has today announced a major algorithm update which is designed to help ensure that original content posters get more traction, as opposed to those who repost their work, while also giving smaller accounts more opportunity.

This aligns with Meta’s broader push to enhance its connection with creators, and it could also have an impact on some posting strategies, depending on exactly how it’s implemented.

The update consists of four key elements:

1. Removing aggregator accounts from recommendations

First off, Instagram is looking to disincentivize aggregator accounts, by removing them from its account and content recommendation displays.

“In the coming months, accounts that repeatedly (10 or more times in the last 30 days) post content from other Instagram users that they didn’t create or enhance in a material way will not be shown in surfaces where we recommend content.”

Which is a big move, considering the traction that aggregator accounts get in the app. Indeed, on every social app, aggregators often get huge reach and engagement, and it’ll be interesting to see how this change can both be enacted effectively, and the impact it might have on the broader IG ecosystem (i.e. will it impact overall engagement?).

Instagram says that detected aggregator accounts will become eligible for recommendations again after 30 days have passed since the last time they posted unoriginal content. Accounts will be able to check on this in their account status overview.

The only exception here will be publishers that have licensing agreements and/or explicit permissions from content creators.

2. Adding labels to reposted content

This could be the most interesting and significant element, with Instagram now looking to proactively redirect users towards the original creators of content in the app.

As you can see in these examples, now, when Instagram detects that you are the original creator of a post, it will look to drive more traffic to your upload, as opposed to reposts of the same.

That could provide a major boost for original creators, especially considering the amount of attention that re-posts get in the app. Viral content often gets a lot more distribution from re-usage, and if Instagram’s able to ensure that the original creator gets all of that attention, that could significantly boost creator traction and engagement.

It’ll be interesting to see how it works in practice, and how aggregators look to get around it.

But it could also be a major shift in the dynamics of IG.

3. Replacing reposts with original content in recommendations

Similar to the first point, Instagram will also now look to highlight more original content in recommendations, by switching out re-posts with the original.

Bottom line: continue focusing on creating and posting your original content for social media. Make sure your content follows your brand. Be consistent. Engage with your followers. Be authentic and your audience - your customers! - will pay attention, remember and support you and your business.

Post info from Social Media Today

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