Instagram news feed changes…a good or bad thing for marketers?

Marketers everywhere today are talking about Instagram announcing new changes coming to their news feed shortly. Instagram released today…

“To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.
The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”

Instagram traditionally has a reverse chronological news feed that allows you to start at the most recent picture posted and scroll back as far as you’d like chronologically.

The type of “see what you care about first” algorithm has been implemented on platforms like Facebook now for a very long time, and twitter recently updated their app with a “while you were away” showing you 3–5 tweets that you would be most interested instead of having to scroll through hours of tweets. Most people that are involved in social media cant say that they’re surprised that Instagram is making this change, the real question though is, is this change to Instagram’s news feed a good or bad thing for people using the platform primarily to market.

Pros:

  • This will allow you to “follow” more people without bogging down the time spent scrolling through your news feed to get to the handful of posts you want to see
  • If you produce high quality content, that your audience is highly engaged with, then there will be a higher chance that more eyes will be on your content (much like Facebook)
  • This will provide content marketers more data to base what the true ROI is of an Instagram post, because you are less likely to get “spam” likes and comments on a post if only your engaged audience is seeing it

Cons:

  • Much like Facebook, now in order to get your content in front of your entire audience, you will most likely need to purchase sponsored ads on the platform
  • If as a marketer part of your strategy is to engage with clients or prospects it is going to make it harder to ensure that you are seeing every post from a specific client unless you are going to be able to prioritize their accounts somehow
  • Posts that would typically get seen by your followers might get filtered out of their news feeds simply because they aren’t engaging with your content

All-in-all I think that we all saw this change coming sooner or later, and after the initial shock value fades out we as marketers are going to have to do what we do ever so often…adjust. It might cost a little bit, it might take some tweaking of content, it might take implementing new strategy, but in my personal opinion if the change makes the platform more user friendly, it is more marketer friendly because the attention will stay high on the platform which is what makes it a good place to market in the first place.

Go out there, experiment with strategy, and happy selling!! Would love to hear your thoughts on the new changes in the comments below.

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