By now you’ve seen the news that Instagram is changing its algorithm, where photos and videos will no longer be presented in reverse chronological order but mysteriously organized based on user interests and behavior. Subsequently, there’s been panic – most recently seen by brands encouraging fans to turn on “notifications” so they don’t disappear from fans’ feeds in the new environment. Unfortunately, says The New York Times, they’re going about it the wrong way, and as Fortune explains, social media filtering is likely here to stay so we’d better get used to it.
What this means for brands:
Firstly, the changes won’t be taking effect for several weeks at the earliest. Plus, there may be options for fans to opt out or manually calibrate their feeds, so brands shouldn’t get ahead of themselves just yet. Asking fans to proactively turn on notifications isn’t exactly a smart approach, as users aren’t likely to want the equivalent of text messages every time a brand posts. But there are limited alternatives, outside of readying advertising budgets. Despite complaints, algorithmic filtering is likely the new norm, and social channels are continuing to move in that direction, believing it offers a better experience for fans – and fulfills advertising revenue ambitions. Core practices like focusing on compelling content, emphasizing fan relationships and engagement and leveraging paid promotion will continue to be a critical combination in this new era.