Remember when you could pull out your IPhone, get on Facebook or Instagram, and see what your friends and family have been up to? Those were the days.
Unfortunately, it seems those days are officially behind us, with Facebook releasing its plan to launch a redesign very similar to Tik Tok and Instagram already having done the same. This is tough news for many users like me and Kylie Jenner, who took to Instagram to repost the “Make Instagram Instagram again” post that many influencers have been reposting. Regardless, if I know Meta, they aren’t going to listen (even with Jenner having the second largest following on Instagram). So what does this mean for the future? Let’s take a few minutes to discuss.
What this means: Social media platforms are now nothing but entertainment apps. Other than Tik Tok, social media apps originally were a web of social relationships, where users connected with friends and family. Even though history tells us that change is not always welcomed with open arms and takes time for people to adapt and eventually love, this change really stinks. Personally I wish my beloved social platforms would leave the entertainment to Tik Tok. But, our social feeds aren’t about “us” anymore. They are full of viral-video creators and the latest internet famous dog. Look, I love a cute dog just as much as the next guy, but what are we doing here? Give me my old feed back.
Why they are changing: Facebook claims the new feed is a “discovery engine” giving users recommended posts from everywhere that might hold the user's attention. Instagram also does this whole “recommended posts” nonsense. The truth is, I haven’t liked anything Instagram has recommended. But I digress…
What they don’t realize they’re doing: On the brighter side, these changes are giving rise to up and coming platforms. Take the new anti-Instagram app BeReal. Even with awful technical issues at the start, the app still claimed top spot in the Apple App Store and has boosted in popularity in recent weeks, getting 1.7 million installs a few weeks ago — the highest weekly gain ever according to Sensor Tower.
Could all of this social media platform me-too’ism create opportunities for other platforms to burst onto the scene? Probably. I think we are about to see a few new social media apps trying to break out by creating feeds similar to the original Facebook and Instagram feeds. I know I would be in for that.
The fact that consumers are installing this app and using it even while experiencing major technical issues tells me Instagram users are pissed off and desperate to get back what these social apps once were. Not to mention many users with significant followings are taking to Instagram to repost the “make Instagram Instagram again” post created by Tatiana Bruening that I mentioned earlier. Along with the post was a petition, which currently boasts more than 165,000 people from over 30 different countries according to Change.org, calling Instagram to stop mimicking Tik Tok.
How they may be hurting influencers: It’s no surprise that many influencers are not thrilled about these new algorithms. Influencer value is directly tied to follower count and the belief that those followers will buy/do/act at the bequest of the influencer.
But if these changes result in platform abandonment, that means fewer followers to monetize. And if the platforms start showing even more of this “curated content,” that means fewer post slots for the content they actually do follow — including influencer content. Which might cause more than a few brands to ask themselves, what’s the value of an influencer promoting their product on Instagram? It’s a bit ironic. Instagram might just be hurting the very thing that got them where they are today.
Have you read: Here's Why You Should Be Creating Social Media Infomercials Instead Of Ads?
What you should do in the meantime:
Make More Reels. For starters, we know Instagram has updated its algorithm to give priority to Reels instead of posts from people users follow. So, if you use Instagram to market your business, you should look into posting Reels instead of the traditional “picture post”. And if videos don’t really align with your Instagram strategy, find ways to work around it like this guy did. Posting more Reels, even if they are very short “videos” of your still images that you would normally post, will get you in front of more eyes and even possibly show up in the recommended page in the Reels section.
Keep Posting Stories Consistently. Another strategy is to post stories. Supposedly, stories have no influence on the algorithm, but the stories that will show up first in line will be the accounts you interact with the most. So, the more stories you post, the more opportunity for your followers to see them, thus hopefully bringing your account to the front of the line on more of your followers’ story feeds. This way you can consistently be top-of-mind and within reach of your followers. Putting your recent posts on your story is a great form of CTA to get followers to go to your post and engage with it.
Go Live More Often. Going live also doesn’t have any specific effect on the algorithm, similar to stories. This is another good strategy you can use to get around these new rules. Going live notifies your followers that you are currently running a live video, and it brings your icon atop all other story feeds. There is also an element of spontaneity that peaks followers interest in your content because they expect something simple and off the cuff. This strategy also lessens the pressure of feeling you always have to post professional content.
However, this is not to say you should be doing one strategy more than another, or even ditch traditional posting. You must have a good mixture and balance of all strategies.
What to do if you want YOUR feeds back:
There are a few things you can do to improve your feed and a few that may not improve them, but will make you feel better about trying.
First, if you’re the revolting type like me, there are a few things you can do to “stick it to the man”, as they say. Take the time to sign the petition that I mentioned above. Even though Meta probably won’t do anything about it, with enough signatures, they will at least have to acknowledge it. Send messages too. I am never hesitant to send Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri messages telling him that his platform’s algorithm sucks. You can do the same (@mosseri is his username). So let’s storm the beaches of Meta together. With enough negative feedback, we can do it.
Second, tell Instagram You’re Not Interested in their Recommended Posts. If Instagram is serving you posts from pages you have zero interest in, go on your explore page and tell Instagram you are not interested by clicking the three dots at the top right and clicking “not interested”. Furthermore, if you feel you are being served ads that don’t make sense to you, you can go to settings, select ads, then ad topics and choose to see less of a certain ad topic.
Third, temporarily snooze suggested posts. Go to a recommended post in your feed, click the X above three dots at the top right of the post. A mini-menu will open, then click “Snooze all suggested posts in feed for 30 days.” A bit annoying, but you have to do this every 30 days. At least you can get rid of them for about a month. And if EVERYONE does it, maybe they’ll get the message!
And finally, change your feed view. Instagram offers a following Feed Option as well as a Favorites Option. By clicking the Instagram logo at the top left of your screen, you can toggle between the two. The favorites feed shows you posts from accounts that you choose, like your friends and favorite accounts that you follow. It allows for up to 50 accounts to be added, so you’ll have to go through and pick out your 50 favorites. Further, Instagram will take accounts on your favorites list and make them show up more often on the “normal feed” (the feed I’ve been complaining to you about in this post). The following feed is, you guessed it, all of the accounts you are following. But the best part is, both feeds give you posts in chronological order, like the old days.
So there you have it. Now you’re armed with the strategies and tips to beat the algorithm and Meta. As always, if you think we left anything out, let us know. And if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.