You might have noticed a flood of ‘turn on notifications’ posts from brand pages overnight on Instagram, following rumours Instagram would be changing its algorithm today.

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Instagram has since announced that there will be no major change today and that the alterations will be rolled out over a few months, assuring brands there’s no need to panic.

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Regardless of the impending change, we would advise brand pages to wait and see how this algorithm rolls out before asking followers to carry out an action that might negatively impact engagement. Asking fans to turn on their notifications means they’ll receive pop up notifications every time you post. Multiply that by how ever many brands your audience follows, and their phones will be beeping all day (and night) long!

In an email to Bustle, a spokesperson for Instagram explained the change in algorithm: “…all the posts will still be there, just in a different order … The ordered feed will take into account a number of signals such as likes, comments, and searches, as well as the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, the timeliness of the posts, and your relationship to the person posting.”*

So as a brand, you should focus on creating content that encourages followers to like or comment on your posts. This will impact whether you appear in someone’s feed, is a lot less work for your followers, and won’t lead to them being annoyed by a barrage of Instagram notifications.

Despite wide-spread criticism, including a petition on change.org to leave Instagram in reverse chronological order, Instagram is confident the upcoming modification will benefit users. Instagram cites that on average people miss 70% of posts in their feeds, and this update will help ensure you see the moments you care about the most.**

What businesses should remember:

  1. The algorithm hasn’t rolled out yet, it will happen gradually over the next few months after substantial testing to ensure it has a positive impact on the user experience. (Instagram has said “The testing of new features has only been rolled out to a “super small” number of users so far.”^)
  2. Asking followers to turn on notifications could negatively impact their experience of Instagram and in turn, their engagement with your brand.
  3. Focus on creating content your followers will want to interact with, be it with a like or comment, as this will be one of the ranking signals that ensures you show up higher in your followers’ feeds.
  4. Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t separate “personal” accounts from “business” accounts, so this move is not discriminatory towards businesses.

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If you need help with Instagram and increasing engagement with your customers, we’d love to assist. Please contact us to speak with one of our social media experts.

 

Sources

http://www.bustle.com/articles/150461-is-the-instagram-algorithm-really-changing-yes-but-the-feature-is-still-in-the-testing-phase

** http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news

http://www.thefader.com/2016/03/28/instagram-feed-change-algorithm

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