PMG Digital Made for Humans

Your Instagram Timeline's A-Changin'

2 MINUTE READ | March 16, 2016

Your Instagram Timeline's A-Changin'

Author's headshot

Carly Carson, Head of Paid Social

Carly Carson has written this article. More details coming soon.

Yesterday, Instagram announced an algorithm update that will affect the way photos show up in your newsfeed. With this update, Instagram will be showcasing photos that you are more likely to engage with higher in your Instagram feed rather than showing you photos in sequential order.

The Instagram platform currently has more than 400 million users, and with the size of the platform, Instagram cites that most users only consume 30% of their current feed. Based on this learning, Instagram wants to ensure that the 30% of content that users are seeing, is the best possible content. Similar to the way the Facebook Newsfeed works, Instagram will be using machine-learning technology and signs of interest to determine which content should show first within your personal Instagram feed.

This update will likely have large implication for brands using the Instagram platform. Similar to Facebook, we predict brands organic reach and engagement will decline, as the platform moves to more of a pay-to-play platform. However, implications are still to be determined as the algorithm changes make their way through the platform.

Naturally, this will help pull better content to the top of a users feed, which will also push brands to differentiate to stand out. We hope to see more innovation and creative risk-taking from brands with the update.

Instagram has done an excellent job sheltering the core product from ad space overkill. Will this change inevitably force brands with lower engagement to dabble in the space? How will users react to the possible influx of advertisers getting into the Instagram feed – knowing they will have to pay for their content to be seen?

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The Instagram updates will begin rolling out over the next few months, and it will be interesting to watch user sentiment and how this begins to affect brand content on the platform. If the first 12 hours of user sentiment is any indication of how this will play out – Instagram may be in for a rocky road.

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