New year — new Instagram update
It’s 2018 so naturally, it’s time for some random rumors to roll in about how Instagram’s algorithm changed.
Last time Instagram changed the algorithm, it pissed off a lot of people. The effect was felt instantly across the whole Instagram community.
When the change actually kicked in, the hearts just stopped coming and the engagement dropped. Instagram’s feed use to work in chronological order, displaying posts in your feed in the most recent order: you never missed a beat and if you used the right hashtags then a lot people would see your post.
Those were the good old days…but they’re long gone.
The 2018 algorithm now works by analyzing what users care most about through signals such as likes, follows, and engagement.
As Instagram stated: “to provide the best content possible for its users and so to air out the noise of the fluff.”
Instagrammers got a whiff of this and they joined forces to defend themselves, creating pods and joining engagement groups. Pods and Engagement Groups are groups of people who agree to like and comment on each other’s posts.
The trick is to tell Instagram a particular piece of content is generating engagement; this in turn helps everyone grow in the pod. Engagement groups are the same, just with more accounts involved. Some said that pods are unethical, but at the end of the day engagement is engagement. If you are engaging with accounts you would engage with all the time, what’s the difference anyway?
What’s so unethical about that?
So what is different about the Algorithm in 2018?
Well, like all growth hacks when they start to get popular, they kind of lose their bang. Now with engagement groups, it’s a whole different ball game and one of the best ways to grow.
All different accounts each liking thousands of posts per day, every day. Sounds a bit like spamming, don’t you think?
The real question relates to Instagram’s views on this activity on the platform. Analytics are doing over-time logging thousands of accounts liking the hell out of posts from a link, not a feed, profile, hashtag or even explorer.
Everyone using these hacks is making it easy to be detected and that can result in combating of actions and restricting interactions.
Have you noticed a like or follow block lately?
Instagram knows and is watching. And the algorithm is only getting smarter. It is all about what Instagram thinks it knows about you by what you tell it.
So if you’re interacting and liking girls on a beach then Instagram is going to show you girls on a beach content. Why? Cause you told Instagram you like girls on a beach. Overall pods and engagement groups are only to help your post be shown to more users because the more likes you get, the more Instagram shows your content to more people.
However, if Instagram thinks no one wants to see your post, then it won’t be shown. If you have created a pod or using engagement groups not related to your niche… well, that is kind of counterproductive thing for your account growth.
You really need to engage with audiences in your target niche more than ever in 2018.It’s more of a pay-to-play option: when you own the ecosystem, you can control the temperature.
Another rumour being thrown about is the use of hashtags, we should consider using 5 -10 Niche tags to describe your content. This is to help define what you’re telling Instagram about your content.
MAYBE: With the most recent hashtag update, users can now follow hashtags so that content using those hashtags will show up in their feed. This might indicate using the top tags again could be beneficial due to the algorithm change.
I’ve already started testing the 5 to 10 hashtag theory but haven’t noticed much difference. Right now, it is too early to tell. But keep testing, you will see what works and what doesn’t. Test the methods that are floating about, document the results and then go from there.
If you are still intending to use pods and engagement groups try one on one DM’s for pods in your Niches and the same with engagement groups. Or try out smaller niche groups and drop a different account to do your liking.
However rumours are rumours until they become fact, we all have to change our strategy sometime…
Growth hacks don’t last forever.