Tips on Instagram's Algorithm Changes

Here is something a little bit different from me today. Usually I am the guy, who writes blogs about photography. This time I'm going to change it up a bit.

Instagram have changed their algorithm again. I am writing this blog, because I think this is the biggest change to Instagram since they have removed chronological feeds in 2016. The new algorithm was introduced at the beginning of this year and a lot of people would've noticed that by significantly dropping engagement over the last month or so.

As a content creators it is important to stay ahead of the algorithm, so that we can make the best choices when it comes to posting photos and engaging with our followers. The blog is going to specifically outline what changed and how you can beat these new features.

10 percent

Ever since Instagram changed the chronological feed order, their mission was to show relevant content first. With the new updates Instagram wants to support this action. So from now on, only 1/10 of your following might potentially see your post. If your post does really well right from the beginning, Instagram will release the post to the other 9/10 of your following. So, if your post only has very little engagement right on from the start, it might only be seen by 10% of your followers.

Comment Pods 

A lot of people on Instagram have been using comment pods to increase their engagement. With the new algorithm they have been punishing people using these pods. They are a lot of reports of people being shadowbanned by Instagram. So try to avoid these comment pods. 

Shadowban, also called Ghosting, is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community such that the user does not realise that they have been banned.

Respond to comments 

Another interesting feature is, that Instagram is limiting or restricting your potential reach if you aren't replying quick enough to comments on your photos. The time frame to reply, set by Instagram, is 60 minutes.

The more engagement, the more clicks/views on your image. 

Comments with less than 3 words

In an attempt to reduce the impact of botting on engagement on Instagram, comments with less than three words will no longer count as active engagement on your post. So, if you're only getting comments with less than three words, there is a big chance that your post will only be seen by 10% of your audience after all.

Hashtags 

30 hashtags: Using 30 hashtags is now considered as being spammy and there is quite a few reports of people getting shadowbanned because they were using all 30 hashtags. It is now recommended to only post around 5-10 hashtags, which are really fitting to your image. It is reported, that this results in much higher engagement, as well.

Never post the same: A lot of people always use the same hashtags on every post. Don't do that. This is also considered as being spammy now and will result in you getting shadowbanned by Instagram.

Hashtags in comments: Always post your hashtags in the description now. Hashtags posted into the comments aren't recognised by Instagram anymore. 

Don't edit your post

People have now found out, that if you edit your description or if you try to tweak your hashtags, Instagram is going to drop the posts visibility. So the best thing you can do, is to post your photo with hashtags and everything included and if you mess up the best thing is to delete and repost it right away.

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These are the most important changes, that can really affect your engagement. Before writing this blog, I have tried to avoid some of the action I had previously taken and the engagement has really increased again. With these changes Instagram is really planning on turning the game around. We already saw this last year, when most botting services, such as Instagress were shut down by Instagram. They are really aiming to get rid of spamming to build a highly active community with real users. 

The above stated is based on what I was able to gather during informing myself about the new algorithm. If you look closely at your account or at the ones of others, you will quickly notice, that most of these changes are obvious and easy to be identified. That being said, Instagram obviously hasn't put out a offical statement about these changes and only they know what really changed.

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