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The Top 4 Changes in Instagram Algorithm in 2018

Updated on August 13, 2018

The Top 4 Changes in Instagram Algorithm in 2018

When Facebook acquired Instagram on 2012, it has already been anticipated that the photo sharing mobile app will undergo lots of changes. Now, fast forward from that time, a lot of changes especially in its algorithm had finally been laid out.

Keeping a tab on how these recent algorithm changes affect the visibility of your posts in your news feed and in the overall ecosystem of Instagram is important if you don’t want to lose your audience. You must carefully play by their rules to avoid getting into trouble or worst getting your account suspended.

With 800 million monthly active users and growing as of the writing of this blog post, putting your content in front of your target prospects in Instagram can be very confusing if you don’t know how its algorithm works.

To help you out from this dilemma, here are Instagram’s top 4 algorithm changes, how they affect your content, and what you can do to keep your posts appear on the news feed of your followers and target audience and boost its visibility in photo sharing network’s every nook and cranny.

Top 4 Instagram Algorithm Changes in 2018

Familiarize yourself with these algorithm changes and learn how to work around with them not only to boost your presence in Instagram but also to help you maintain engagement with your current customers and prospects.

The top Instagram algorithm changes are mostly focused on the following:

1. Engagement – Instagram now prioritizes engagement as one of the main factors that determine if a post will appear on your news feed or not. Here’s how they are incorporating this in their recent algorithm changes.

a. Posts with Higher Engagement Are Being Rewarded – The latest algorithm change now favors content with higher engagement. The days of chronological posts showing on your newsfeeds are over. If you’ve already noticed, the ones who always show up on your newsfeed nowadays are those from people whose content you always interact with. This means that you need to find ways to boost engagement every time you publish a new post in order to boost its visibility.

b. Users Who Interact With Their Followers Are Also Being Rewarded – The more you interact with your followers, the higher the chances your future posts will appear on their news feed. This means that you need to keep tab on the comments in your posts. Make sure you reply to those ones who ask questions or just simply heart those ones you feel have contributed a value to your post.

c. The Speed of Engagement Once a Content Is Posted is Also Very Important – Are you aware on how quickly your Instagram followers engage with your posts? If you are not conscious about it, then you should be because this is part of the factors the new algorithm changes look at which can affect your content’s visibility all over the photo sharing site.

d. The Length of Time People Are Viewing Your Posts Are Being Calculated – This can help them gauge how engaging your posts are. The longer your followers stay and engage with your posts, the higher the chances it will appear on the news feed or explore page of those ones who Instagram feels can benefit or enjoy them.

e. Your Content Will Be Viewed by Those People You Interact with The Most – More than ever, you need to put effort and time to engage with your followers and target audience. You cannot just publish a content and leave it. You need to put more efforts in knowing your followers and target audience by truly interacting with them in your every post.

2. Hashtag – Hashtags actually become a trend because of Instagram. All other social networking sites adapted its use when a lot of social media users noticed how it is playfully incorporated in Instagram. With the latest algorithm changes, posts with specific and relevant hashtags are preferred or favored more and have higher chances of getting more visibility in the news feed and explore page compared to those without one.

3. Authenticity – With the emergence of bots and auto reply programs, there are so much problem with fake accounts in Instagram. These fake accounts are used to generate fake likes and even fake comments to boost fake engagement. Because of this, the latest algorithm changes specifically target and suspend accounts that show any signs of inauthenticity. This push for authenticity is just a part of their effort to improve user experience and to build a community that thrives as a result of real and authentic engagement.

4. User’s Loyalty – Active users and those ones who are always keep themselves updated with Instagram’s latest features have higher chances of getting more visibility. The photo sharing site rewards specifically those ones who use their all their features. Being a loyal Instagram member definitely pays off.

How to Boost Your Visibility Given All These Algorithm Changes?

Now that you are aware of the latest algorithm changes in Instagram, you can now move on and find ways to work around with them to make sure your content can maintain its relevance and visibility not just in the news feed of your followers but all over Instagram as well.

1. Boost engagement not only on your timeline but in other Instagram pages as well. You can also post in your Instagram Stories and interact with your followers from there. You can also check your explore page and find out what’s trending and incorporate it your next content. It’s all about getting more creative by keeping up with what’s in so that you won’t lose the interest of your followers.

2. Make sure you interact well with your followers by replying to their comments and answering to their questions. Putting more effort and time to interact with your target audience means you value their inputs and that your brand is always listening to their needs. You can also direct them to your email address if you feel you cannot entertain all their inquiries at once.

3. Find out the time when your followers or target audience are most active. And, that’s the time you can schedule to publish your content. According to HubSpot, the best time to post on Instagram is on Mondays or Thursdays. Just avoid the hours between 3:00PM to 4:00PM. For your video posts, Hubspot says that the best time to publish them is between 9:00PM and 8:00AM.

You just have to research more on what is the specific time your target audience are most active in Instagram. This can take a bit of trial and error because you can always tell from the rate of your engagement if those are the right hours or not.

4. Make sure your followers spend longer time on your posts by creating more captivating captions. Captions that contain stories and experiences are mostly the ones that get all the attention. Make an effort to write longer text instead of short ones.

5. Always make sure you put all the relevant hashtags before publishing your post. Use popular hashtags to raise the chances of getting more views. It is recommended that you create lists of hashtags that you always use so that you can just pull them out every time you need to use them. These hashtags can also help you get visibility even from those who users who haven’t follow you yet.

6. Maintain authenticity in your Instagram profile by actively conversing with your followers. With the proliferation of bots and fake followers in Instagram, the need for authentic conversations becomes crucial for the whole community to truly thrive.

7. Make sure your posts have consistent branding and that each post is created with your target audience in mind. Since your posts appear more to people who you interact with the most, the need to be consistent with your brand’s message is important in order for them not to unfollow you. For example, if you are a health and fitness brand and you just post something about financing out of the blue, there’s a higher chance that this can encourage many of your followers to leave your page for good.

8. Try to experiment with Instagram’s features. This can help you create unique experiences for your followers and at the same time showcase your brand in more creative ways. This also helps you get in with the good side of Instagram since their latest algorithm changes favor more those users who utilize all their features.

From creating posts for your Stories to posting videos and images on your timeline, making sure to optimize Instagram’s features to highlight your content is definitely the right way to go.

Final Thoughts

The main factor that affect your visibility in Instagram has to do on how many people have already seen your posts. The need to be consistent is very important to maintain your momentum and not to lose the interest of your followers. Those who you often interact with are the ones who are more likely to see your content again, thus the need for consistency should always be on top of your mind.

Because your content can only be seen by those you’ve already engaged with, it is very crucial that you look for ways to gain new followers and create new engagement. You can do this by promoting your content not only in Instagram but on other sites as well. You can start by embedding your latest Instagram posts on your blog and featuring your profile on your other social media pages.

You can also boost your visibility by creating a campaign that targets a specific hashtag. By doing this, you are redirecting all your prospects to your business, they may be in Instagram or not.

Of course, if all these are too time consuming and you would rather focus on your business, you can always get the help of these professionals to manage your presence in Instagram. Their over a decade of track record in helping entrepreneurs grow their small businesses through social media marketing can guarantee you that they can truly deliver on their promises. Good luck!


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