If you’ve been on Instagram long enough, you’ll have heard that the best way to get ahead of the curve is to post at ‘peak hours’. Timings where traffic is highest so users will see your posts immediately a.k.a The Chronological Feed. Sadly, that no longer works. In a new update, Instagram rolled out the new Instagram Algorithm 2021, which is designed to decide what content you get to see when you open the app.
The algorithm at its core
Instagram’s new algorithm basically ensures that the posts and stories you see right away are the ones you want to see. Your followers all have their own habits and browsing routines, so the algorithm is summed up in four factors:
- Information about the post — Is that post a photo, a carousel, or a video? Where was it published from? How long is the video?
- Information about the poster —How interesting are you to them? How often do people engage with your content?
- Browsing activity — Do they tend to watch a lot of videos? What type of content do they typically engage with?
- Interaction history — Do they typically like or comment on your posts?
The algorithm in Instagram Stories is similar and more obvious — Stories of accounts you interact with most often get pushed to the front, regardless of whom posted most recently. However, since Stories are shorter and can be binge-watched, your followers are more likely to swipe to your content.
Interactions that affect the algorithm
When prioritising content for each of followers, the Instagram algorithm puts into consideration five forms of interaction that supplement the factors we just mentioned. These are:
- Time spent — Will they bother to spend time on the post?
- Likes — Will they like the post?
- Comments — How likely are they to comment on the post?
- Saves — How likely are they to save the post?
- Taps on Profile — How likely are they to tap on the profile after seeing the post?
Do you want people to spend more time on your content?
The advent of the new algorithm provides us with the opportunity to explore video formats as well. If your followers are shown to like more dynamic content like videos and gifs, but you do not want to crowd your feed with too many types of posts, you can use Instagram Stories (which only lasts 24 hours but can be saved as highlights), or Instagram Reels (which has a longer duration limit and appears permanently on a separate tab).
Is this post likely to be liked or commented on?
If the content you are posting is supposed to drive engagement, it would be good to draw Insights from your followers as to what kind of posts do better on your profile. If polished, well taken photos of your pawpal get more likes and comments than your casual pictures of them, then you can consider steering your profile to a more polished feed.
Is this a post someone would save and come back to?
This is especially true for educational posts, like tips & tricks. Think about whether your post will leave your followers coming back to it for repeated views. Loopable videos like Jade Taylor Ryan’s TikTok of her cat Ed dancing to Mr. Sandman are comfortable to watch over. And over. And over again.
Does this post include a CTA (for example, “Click the link in my bio”) that will prompt someone to tap on your profile?
If you have campaigns, promotions, or events happening on your profile, your posts should include a CTA so that your followers know there’s more in store when they go to your profile.
Now that you know…
It’s always important to remember that Instagram is always upgrading its algorithm. What works now may not work next year. So while this guide is still relevant, please take this opportunity to experiment with the content you are making and most importantly, to have fun with your pawpal while doing so
* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.