What you need to know about the latest Instagram updates

A few weeks ago, Adam Mosseri – head of Instagram – announced the biggest Instagram change yet; “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app.”

Adam explained that Instagram is not going to prioritize photos in the feed. Instead, they’re going to start focusing on creators, video, shopping and messaging. The most important two elements here are video and shopping. You can expect to see more updates around video but one of the most important updates he gave was on the algorithm. By the sounds of it, Instagram is reformulating to have a more organic reach. This means that, just like TikTok, you’ll see a lot more videos from people you don’t follow.

Instagram has made a few big changes over the past year. But Adam’s announcement has left many users upset and concerned. People want a photo-sharing app and wonder why Instagram is trying to be an all-in-one app, competing with the likes of YouTube and TikTok – who simply dominate video content.

Despite all this, there are still ways to stay on top of the ever-changing Instagram algorithm. We’ve done the research and come up with five ways to work with the algorithm that will help with your social media strategy – whether you’re running a business or personal account.

  1. Focus on relationships, not just reach

If a certain user has interacted with a lot of your past content, they’ll be more likely to see your future content. This is because the algorithm assumes that people who’ve interacted with your account in the past will be interested in your new content. It evaluates your relationship through asking the following questions:

  • Do you follow each other?
  • Did they search for you by name?
  • Do you message each other, or leave comments?
  • Do they tag each other in posts?
  • Do they save your posts?

Therefore, engaging with followers does help increase your organic reach. The best way to do this is to reach a stage where you can use user-generated content (UGC) – whether that’s on stories or feed posts. Posting UGC not only inspires more UGC but users whose content you share may tag you in their stories and further expand your digital footprint.

Engaging should go a step further; you should try to bond with your audience. Success will only come when you’ve tapped into the hearts and minds of your audience.

  1. You heard Adam – share videos!

While people may be upset about it, the truth is that video content is king right now. And, Reels are still relatively new – so the algorithm is currently boosting them in the feed so that more people see and use this feature. Posting good quality reels is certainly likely to expose your account to new eyes, and earn you better engagement. Good quality means shooting in vertical and using all the features that Instagram has to offer, like filters, effects and music.

Videos in general are the easiest way to grab someone’s attention while they’re scrolling and mean that followers will spend more time on your profile. Instagram recently announced that IGTV content will now begin showing in feeds too, rather than being confined to IGTV itself.

Here’s a video tip between you and us – video content does not need to be a full-blown production. Simple time lapses or Boomerang videos are enough to draw in viewers for brands, big and small.

  1. Use stories more

Stories are easily the most popular type of content on the Instagram platform. In February, they passed the 500 million daily user mark. Some brands are actually posting less content on their feeds and posting more stories. Stories provide an authentic and quick way to engage with your audience – that people love. They also push your brand’s account to the front of your followers’ story updates. Stories will consistently keep your profile popping up and this spells good news for engagement as your followers are constantly being encouraged to check out your content.

  1. Post consistently and frequently

This has always been the case for a good Instagram strategy. It’s key, whether you’re looking for growth in reach, engagement or followers. On average, businesses are posting one or two posts to their feed per day. On top of added reach and engagement, posting more often will give you more room to experiment and assess which pieces of content are working and which aren’t.

  1. Always drive engagement

Engagement is the key to building relationships with an audience, which in turn, is key to driving positive growth and sales. One way of doing it includes posting carousels. While the algorithm does not explicitly prioritize carousels, posts that earn more engagement are rewarded with more reach. Carousel posts make up 17% of feed posts and pull three times the engagement of other post types. They’re great for going into more detail on a product, or capturing multiple angles on the same theme.

We’d love to know if you have any suggestions about the latest Instagram changes. Comment on our latest post with your feedback or leave your questions.