Two years after its first major algorithm update put an end to chronological feeds, Instagram has announced it will be introducing measures to re-prioritise new posts.
The announcement could prove good news for small businesses, who were less than impressed with Instagram’s decision to ditch the chronological order in favour of an engagement-based feed.
The 2016 algorithm update saw small-scale businesses and brands take a big hit to their engagement rate, with posts showing to as little as 10% of their following.
Now, the social media giant is taking new steps to ensure users are able to access the most recent posts in a move that could benefit businesses who were negatively affected by the initial update.
Although the latest change doesn’t bring back the chronological order altogether, the update will put a greater emphasis on ensuring newer posts are shown higher up on Instagram feeds.
Whilst factors such as engagement will still influence the placement of posts, the time at which content is posted will carry a greater weight in determining where it appears on user feeds.
According to Instagram, this change has been introduced to ensure feeds will feel fresh and users “won’t miss the moments [they] care about”.
In addition to this re-prioritisation of content, Instagram will also be introducing a “New Posts” button, allowing users to control when they want to refresh their feeds as opposed to doing it automatically on their behalf.
But what do these changes actually mean for small businesses?
Whilst the latest changes won’t make a massive difference to the content shown on Instagram feeds, the update will force businesses to consider the importance of when they post.
Under the current system, Instagram shows posts to users based on what they like, even if posts date back a few days. With the new update, however, older posts will have a lesser chance of showing on user feeds.
This means businesses will need to make more of an effort to post during “active hours” when more users are online.
The new update will also put a new emphasis on fresh content, encouraging businesses to post more frequently in order to appear more often on their followers' feeds.
Whilst we're yet to see the exact impact these changes will have on users' engagement rates, businesses will need to re-think their social media strategy sooner rather than later if they want to take advantage of the new update.
In the ever-evolving world of social media, it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with the latest updates and trends, especially when you’re running a small business on the side. The digital marketing specialists at Undergrnd are committed to helping small businesses adapt to the modern market with our expert social media marketing strategies. Whether you’re building a social media plan from scratch or looking to drive engagement across existing channels, our social media marketers can help you find a strategy to reach your online goals.