Instagram Algorithm Changes Feed as Engagement, Growth Fall

Instagram algorithm to change what is served first

Instagram AlgorithmThe news that sent shockwaves through the Instagram community this week came as the company announced it would change users’ feeds to display content differently than the classic chronological order.

The company announced the change in a blog post earlier this week, noting that because of the old chronological format many users missed out on seeing lots of content – especially if they followed numerous accounts. The Instagram algorithm will work to shore up what the platform most relevant to users (similar to what parent company Facebook does), but that all of the published content would still be in our feeds.

Instagram Exact TimesThe new change will roll out over the coming months. Meanwhile, the social network is debuting a new update to tell you the exact date when a photo was published rather than how many weeks ago it was published. This new information appears below the post rather than the upper right hand corner.

These new changes come as some sobering news comes out about Instagram. Social Media Today reports Instagram Follower growth and engagement is at its lowest point in a year since they began tracking the numbers. February growth saw a nearly 46% decline in follower growth compared to January and engagement fell by 70% over the past 11 months.

The reasons cited for the possible declines could be linked to the rise of Instagram advertising and more brands adopting the platform for use – potentially creating more noise for users to wade through. The average Instagram user now follows between 400 and 500 accounts, up from about 250 from a year ago. This factor alone has led to a decline in organic reach and engagement. It will be interesting to see what effect the upcoming Instagram algorithm change may have on these numbers.