#RIPInstagram: Will the New Feed Changes Damage Brands?

Instagram is my social platform of choice as it fuels my Kardashian obsession and is where I source the latest makeup tips and workout guides.

I don’t know about you, but I was sad to see the death of the reverse chronological newsfeed. Especially when I realised that I’d missed what outfit Kylie Jenner was wearing that afternoon!

Instagram has jumped on the personalisation bandwagon, which is understandable since Facebook purchased the platform for $1bn in 2012 and introduced a fancy new algorithm that bumps photos to the top of the feed based on interactions.

In doing so, Instagram hopes to improve the user experience by showing what moments we care about the most. It also means that you won’t drown out your favourite accounts when you follow more. Instead, the algorithm will offer a safety net for photos that matter to us – at least in theory.

What this means to brands

As you can imagine, the change went down like a lead balloon. Especially once users realised that advertisers are exempt from the new rules and that big brands, celebrities and bloggers take precedence over smaller accounts.

Many small businesses have voiced their concerns, saying that the new algorithm could destroy less-established accounts.

Instagram is the main marketing channel for thousands of businesses and it’s been highly effective in helping smaller firms define a brand, create relevant content and build engagement. Take household names like online nutrition and fitness coach, Joe Wicks, who began posting his #LeanIn15 recipes on the site in January 2015.

The change is definitely going to make things harder for businesses that lack high engagement and will therefore require a more creative approach to Instagram marketing.

Despite the backlash, I can personally see some sense in relevancy-optimisation, with the average user missing around 70 per cent of photos in their feed because of the sheer amount of content that’s now generated.

No one likes change, but as with every social media update, we’re a slave to their technological advances – no matter how much backlash they get.

Only time will tell if the new algorithm will help Instagram to grow as a social platform… just not in reverse chronological order.

April 11, 2016 - This article was written by Jenny Woolley

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