You may have already read my initial response to the news of the changes to Instagram that I wrote when the news was first announced. This post is a supplement to that.
Today I’m seeing about 75% of my followings post an image asking people to turn on their notification alerts for their account. Some are really quite artistic, too!
It’s spreading with the speed that only panic really can; frantic insta-fans stocking up on followers before storm algorithm hits.
My advice here is to b r e a t h e.
Instagram have said they’re rolling out the new system gradually – and now tweeted to confirm nothing is changing tomorrow. I’m not sure where this rumour of a sea-change tomorrow has sprung from (& tell me if you know!) but it seems unlikely to be a totally overnight switch.
Don’t feel like you have to join in the melee – although equally, don’t worry if you already have. The truth is, people will probably turn off notifications for almost every account within a day or two once their alerts go insane on their phone. It isn’t practical to keep up this way. Could you handle a notification every time somebody tweets?
ETA: this conversation from twitter is helpful too.
If you want to be seen, the same rules as always apply: great content, and great engagement with your audience & beyond. Choose & use your hashtags well and catch up on your following feed whenever you get time, and the algorithm shouldn’t make all that much difference at all.
Remember, the change isn’t about showing you the most popular images first. That would not require an algorithm – it would merely be a simple sorting exercise with very little point. Instead, Instagram will make complex calculations based on what you usually like, who you interact with most, what your friends are liking and what’s getting more traction than usual. It’ll work a lot like the Explore page, but with people you follow – small accounts have no reason to panic, and many of us may see a new type of engagement as a result of the change.