Finally! The Instagram algorithm has evolved people! And it's a beautiful blend of what you want to see and what you might want to see. Facebook could take a lesson from their prettier, kinder, gentler sister.
The Big News
Your feed is now personalized to literally what YOU like. Double tapped that fav lab pic? You're about to see more labs from both the profile you tapped on and from others like it in your feed. Love everything an author posts? You're rarely going to miss anything more from that author. IG is creating custom algorithms for each user based on what they double tap on, therefore, creating a "like".
You're going to get a personalized feed based on your interactions with the profiles you engage with. Typically, we're going to see a lot more posts from family and friends as those are the posts we most engage with. I'm positive Instagram thinks Henry Cavill and I are close, personal friends based on the fact he's appearing at the top of my feed kind of a lot, and who am I to try to change their thinking on that? (Runs to IG to start double tapping on Chris Hemsworth for good measure).
Instagram's goal is now to offer you 90% content from friends and family and brands you WANT to see, whereas we were capping out at 50% of that type of content prior to this change.
Here's how IG is predicting who falls into that 90% category:
1) Interest based on past engagement behaviors.
2) Timeliness - How long ago was this post created. Posts created farther in the past are no longer brought to the top of your feed.
3) Relationships - How often you get tagged by someone, how often that someone engages with you and your comment activity are all being tracked and algorithmed.
Other Cool Nuggets Of Instagram Algorithm Wisdom
We can now confirm that the Shadowbanning Era is over. Use those hashtags like there's no tomorrow. Shadowbans were the act of temporarily restricting the reach of some hashtags that were seen as being overused and spammy. This is no longer the case and this is incredible news!
Instagram is no longer down-ranking profiles that post many times per day, so go on with your bad self. Post away.
Videos are NOT king on IG. Unlike it's sister company Facebook, Instagram has confirmed it gives preference to imagery, not videos like many thought in the past. This is amazing news for those of us not creating a lot of video content.
How Can Romance Writers Use This News To Grow?
As romance writers, it's often a challenge for us to find a way to gain a lot of traction on this platform that values imagery over words, however, here are a few quick strategies we can put in place to grow. (PS Don't forget - the average brand profile only net gains around 20-30 new followers (these are followers that stick - who are on brand) per month. Don't sweat it. You'll get where you need to go but you need to create a strategy to get there and stay consistent with it.
If you're choosing Instagram as your social platform of choice, then you'll need to post consistently, post at least once per day, use IG Stories to let your readers into your day to day and create a high converting profile with strategic keywords. Experiment with hashtags, make sure you're using high quality images and create a profile that reads like a home page should.