Instagram’s new top-secret algorithm is soon to bring order to people’s news feeds based on engagement. The impending shift has publishers reconsidering how they post to the platform.
The photo-sharing app has said it would order photos in feeds based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
While beloved publishers may have an advantage over consumer brands, the coming change means uncertainty for a platform that’s become an increasingly important engagement tool. Newswhip found that engagement on Instagram is frequently higher than it is on Facebook. Publications such as National Geographic, Vogue and New York have made a concerted effort to build big followings on the platform.
So while it may be too early for them to make wholesale shifts, publishers are preparing for the change by diversifying their Instagram accounts, focusing on how natural their content feels to their readership, and more closely monitoring their engagement numbers.
GQ, for one, is taking a niche approach by focusing on its multiple Instagram accounts that are tailored to narrow interests, said Mike Hofman, executive digital director for GQ. Two, @gq_castings and @gq_guys, feature models who visit GQ’s offices every day, have 44,4000 and 105,000 followers, respectively, and provide “multiple opportunities to reach GQ readers on Instagram,” Hofman said.
Others are tapping into their experience with Instagram parent Facebook’s past algorithm changes. Callia Hardgrove, social media editor of Vox Media’s Racked, thinks the Instagram algorithm will be hard on bloggers and favor publishers, at least in the fashion industry. If Instagram’s algorithm is similar to Facebook’s, she expects Racked’s engagement to soar.
Publishers have been posting more to Instagram. From April 2015 to the end of this past February, the number of monthly Instagram posts per publisher rose 57 percent to 84, according to TrackMaven, which looked at posts across 48 top publishers. But in an algorithm-driven world, quality trumps quantity, if experience with Facebook is a guide.
Bleacher Report ranked second among publishers by Newswhip with 19.6 million engagements in March, behind only Nat Geo. One reason is probably because it had the highest number of posts, at 441, to Nat Geo’s 268. Rory Brown, president of Bleacher Report, said he’s not planning to dramatically reduce that, but will keep the bar high on quality.
It’s assumed that branded content also could take a hit on the new Instagram, as brands (and their output) often lack a connection with readers. So for publishers that monetize Instagram this way, the bar will be higher for such posts.
For Bleacher Report, that means focusing on branded content ads that will feel natural to readers. “The publishers that collaborate really well with advertisers to create really compelling content, that content is going to be seen by more people than ever,” Brown said.
How Apartment Therapy’s Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate
Apartment Therapy's event strategy closely revolves around its commerce business to appease both advertisers and consumers.
Experts tip in-house operations and retail media as the most fertile landscape for new job market entrants
Although 'readjustment' and 'flexibility' will be required from those laid off by Big Tech.
The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists
The Post's climate team continues to expand as the publisher makes big bets on the beat drawing younger audiences.
SponsoredWhy cookie deprecation is deflating performance and inflating costs for advertisers
With the full deprecation of third-party cookies on the horizon, advertisers and publishers are navigating a challenging and quickly evolving landscape. The sunset of the third-party cookie continues as usage and lifetimes fall. Their deprecation is preventing brands from effectively measuring the effectiveness of media campaigns in real-time at highly granular levels. As the industry […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: What a tour through Dentsu and Microsoft’s metaverse campus says about the future of digital marketing
Digiday gets a guided tour through Dentsu and Microsoft's metaverse campus, where clients can test out retail concepts or build showrooms in the virtual world.
‘Halloween is when Christmas ends’: A look at publishers’ pre-Black Friday commerce content playbooks
Publishers' Black Friday coverage plans are starting earlier and earlier but commerce teams are evolving to meet the demand.