Algorithm changes to Instagram – January 2018

Original post by Peggy Dean

Algorithm / Post Exposure

When you post something on Instagram, it may only be exposed to 10% of your audience – You’ve probably found that your instagram posts are only achieving a small amount of likes compared to usual? Yep this is down to the new algorithm, post more frequently and you’ll see this start to rise.
Pods – groups of people who work together to boost engagement for the group by liking and commenting when a member announces they have a new post. Instagram seems to be cracking down on this with rumours that ‘Pods’ will now be banned for spam reasons.
Switch over to a Business Account – Switch over to a business account (free to do).  The plus with a business account is that you’re now able to check additional stats such as best times to post to your audience.

Engagement / Replies

• Respond to comments left on your posts within 60 minutes. Otherwise, your post’s visibility might gradually decrease. Instagram is now thought to be restricting exposure based off of YOUR engagement.
Respond with 4 words or more – You know those comments from bots? The emojis or comments like “Great pic!” “Love it!” and “Nice!” supposedly  now they do not count as engagement. The plus is that they’d be filtering out these pesty accounts and increase genuine comments. Just in case, for good practice reply with 4 words or more!
Post regular ‘stories’ – The stories that are shown first are accounts that you engage with the most, so give people a reason to see you first!

Captions / Hashtags

People say that they seem to have better luck with about 5 unique hashtags – You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post however this could now be classed as spam.. Spam = shadow banning.
Don’t use the same hashtags over and over! Mix them up or it will look like you’re a bot, which means spam.. Spam = shadow banning
Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results. You must now include hashtags in the body of your caption rather than a comment after the caption.
Do NOT edit your caption for 24 hours after posting. This could significantly lower your chances for it to be seen.
• Do NOT delete your post and then repost it. Same reason as above.

Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community such that the user does not realise that they have been banned. Sneaky right! 

New Features

Explore Feed now in News Feed? The Explore feed is a collection of posts from people you both follow and don’t follow, most of which you don’t already. Well, Instagram is now rolling out an addition of these posts to your regular news feed.
You can now follow hashtags. Rumour has it, your profile might be favoured if you’re following hashtags!

Massive thank you to Peggy Dean & The Pigeon Letters for compiling this list!