What Happened: Instagram has made a small, yet significant, change in the algorithm that determines what you see in the Explore tab. The Facebook-owned app hopes to make photo and video discovery a more personalized experience. Previously, the Explore tab only featured content that was popular among all Instagram users or accrued the most likes. You will now be able to see content that the people you follow like, as well as content trending in the Instagram community. As Tech Crunch points out, this contrasts with Vine which focuses on globally popular expert content creators.
What This Means for Brands: Now that Instagram users will be given a more subjective view of who likes what in the explore tab, focusing on people they already trust, they can more readily find content that is meaningful and relevant to their interests. Instagram’s approach to spotlight content that will matter most to the user allows brands the opportunity to reach a community of people who are likely to be loyal brand fans of their products already. Seeing your influencers are into something may translate into more purchase decisions. The downside—brands may miss some conversion opportunities with users who don’t have any connections that are brand-friendly, although they’ll still see what’s trending.
Contributing to TRENDING items are Ephraim Cohen, Sarah Gordon, Lydia Herrera, Jeff Maldonado, Lauren Price and Abby Ray.