The word algorithm probably sounds familiar to us and not to mathematics, but to the Instagram’s algorithm that is constantly changing.
Since the dawn of social communication through social media, before the incursion of brands and mass advertising, your usual timeline was that of the friends and family you followed. Always photos with related captions, all in a very organic and chronological way starting with new posts and rewinding to old ones.
Today everything is changing more frenetically with the incursion of new social media platforms, the various takeovers among them and the ongoing competition. Initially, the incursion three years earlier of TikTok into the Western market was the biggest influence of change, but the restructuring in the way content is consumed on Instagram comes primarily because of the new algorithm, but…
What is an algorithm?
Algorithms are a set of logical rules, in this case from Instagram, in the app’s code that analyze the app’s interaction data and show you content accordingly.
If you find it tough, here’s an example: We are foodies and we tend to watch a lot of recipe videos on Reels and interact with them. The algorithm identifies that we interact with cooking content before other content, such as beauty and fashion. Then the algorithm, which is not based on the chronology of the content, will prioritize offering cooking content from very viral and established profiles before anything else.
What’s going on in Instagram?
In one of our previous blogs, we talked about the rise of TikTok and video format, and how it has forced Instagram to include Reels. Well, the massive incursion of Reels in the platform have do that user experience have been changed, something that we will focus on it later. In this way, Reels has been prioritized over photos for the algorithm and that is something visible in metrics.
Although the reach of posts has not been reduced, engagement has been. The average user is used to consuming other types of content and is not used to commenting on, saving, or sharing content other than Reels. The video format has the ability to speak for itself, to be less demanding to the eye and easier to consume and understand, saving reading and watching time.
All this added to the profile of educational content usually present in Instagram, makes that there is a massive consumption of Reels as opposed to the rest. It does not say that it loses value, but today we can say that we must prioritize the Reels in our strategies, and the other types of content must be added and help to maintain a frequency and engagement in the community.
Previously popular content such as carousels or photos have moved to a second level, especially for brands and influencers.
User experience: The road to change
If we want to stop, look, and think about why reels and no other types of content, the «science» that measures that is UX/UI. In the end, smartphones are vertical, a more ergonomic way to fit the phone in the hand and give your finger better access to the screen.
This faces all the panoramic content, which could perhaps reach 20% of the screen or carousels that need a swipe to see more. In short, more effort for the user.
On the other hand, with Reels we have a full screen and video, the user just has to keep their eyes on the screen and nothing else will come between interface and user. This is nothing more than an analysis of the data we have done on the stories and how from them it has received more attention than the rest even if it was a lower value content, just because of the format and the immersive user experience.
How can we adapt to Instagram’s algorithm?
It’s not about firing our designer and getting new videographers; it’s about knowing how to vary and structure our content well. If we have a frequency of five posts a week between designs and photos, it is better to reduce it to four and that one of them is a Reel, with him at the forefront of the strategy with the best timing of the week for our audience.
In addition, something that is working a lot is to rescue some used content that worked before in your account, updating the designs and adapting them to your current brand image. This way we can combine content that we know works with our community and Reels that will help us maintain and grow engagement.
Have you any doubt about how Instagram’s algorithm works? If you want to keep up with all our news and posts do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter and we will let you know when we have something new to tell you. See you next time!