We have received many questions about a drop in the number of engagements and followers from Instagram users recently. So, we prepared this article to give a complete explanation of the new changes that are made to the Instagram algorithm. Understanding these trends would help Instagrammers to reach their desired number of Instagram impressions and followers.
Table of content
Why does Instagram algorithm change?
The Instagram algorithm is changing because the company is looking for a healthy community and distribution of positive content among users. Instagram wants the community to reach the relevant content that they are engaging in it more.
The Instagram algorithm is also going to the way that users stay longer on the application because they would face more content and ads. Having a healthy and active community would help to achieve this goal.
Every single option and feature on the app matters, and you should care about them if you want to grow the Instagram account.
Main Instagram algorithm update
Julian K. Gutman, Product Lead of Instagram, mentioned that there are three main factors that are the basics of the Instagram algorithm and its feed in his conference.
- Connections: Instagram prioritizes the posts whenever you check the Instagram feed, meaning that the first posts that Instagram shows you in the feed, are the ones that you had more interactions with them. For example, if a person comments on the posts, like them, tag you, turn the posts notification on, or DM would reach to your content more frequently.
- Interest: Instagram will recognize the interests of the following lists, profile visits, posts likes (from image recognitions technology), comments, and all other actions. So, using hashtags, descriptions, or any words, or category of business in bio, posts would be shown more to the users who are looking for these.
- Timeline: Instagram feed would show the most recent posts first, and whenever you check the Instagram feed, you’d see the latest posts. So, posting when users are online is the key.
15 tips to beat new Instagram algorithm changes
Now let’s know about the latest the Instagram algorithm works generally based on the newest update (connections, interests, timeline), and how you should beat it to rank higher on Instagram feed.
1# Consistency is a must for Instagram algorithm
All the story is about reaching more users and getting more impressions. So, you have to post when others are online. Post more and consistently to reach more online users.
Find the best time to post on Instagram to increase the engagement rate and reach what you want as soon as possible.
Also, if you have a business account, you can easily use the Instagram insight to know more about your followers such as their age, gender, time and day of their activity, etc. by going to
Profile> three-line icon> insight> audience> days and hours
2# Like, Follow, & comment
Newest Instagram algorithm shows the posts from those who are closer to. So, who would reach the posts? Of course, those who have engaged with you more. You can also make these connections by Like, follow, comment, view stories, and Instagram DMs.
If you make connections through Instagram DMs, they would see your posts more.
It is Ok to follow others, but because of some Instagram limitations, it is better to keep it reasonable so that Instagram won’t ban you. For instance, if you are going to follow some accounts, it is good to stay around a few numbers in an hour or no more than 200 in a day.
Care about the limits: The latest Instagram algorithm has limited the number of likes and comments ; it has considered some Instagram rules, limits and restrictions, if you have faced with action blocked content, don’t worry, it will be fixed, it just takes a few hours or a few days to get fixed.
3# Use Instagram DMs more
There are different types of Instagram direct message to use, in order to get more engagement, even you can Automate Instagram DMs to keep in touch with followers. In this case, if they reply to you, they most probably see your posts more.
For instance, “welcome letters” to the new followers, intoroduces the account, any company’s offers, etc.
All of these would enhance the chance of profile visits, sharing the content, commenting, liking posts, etc. It would increase the engagement which is suitable for an account in one way, in another way, you are going to build relationships with new friends or new customers.
Even if you have a small number of followers, there are always users who want to send you their feedback, or any related posts to you. So, it is a good idea to send these some good feedback or experience documentaries to others to attract more users and make the account real.
4# Increase the average spending time
The other way to stay ahead of the Instagram algorithm is showing your online presence. In this case, you can spend a bit more on Instagram feed, doing different actions, and connecting to other accounts. You can see the daily time on the Instagram app, from the activity, menu. There should be logical relationships between your activity time on Instagram feed, and all other actions you are taking there.
5# Use nametag
You should get every single opportunity to bring more users into an account. Instagram has provided name tag so that everyone can scan it, and without typing username, they can follow you on Instagram. Wherever you have the opportunity, like poster, conference, events, and all use name tag there.
6# Sharing client or users spotlight
Even if you have a small number of followers, there are always users who want to send you their feedback or any related posts. So, it is a good idea to share some positive feedback or experience with others to attract more users and make the account real.
Once your account looks real (based on like, comment, engagements, impressions, etc.), it sends a signal to the Instagram algorithm that you are sharing the right content, and in this case, the probability of showing the material to others is higher.
7# Ask followers to turn on posts notifications
The frequency of showing posts on feed depends on followers’ interactions with accounts. So ask followers to turn on post notification directly from your profile, or comment, and like your posts more. This way, they would see more of you in the Instagram feed.
8# Followers love Contest & challenge
While you are having a certain amount of followers, run a challenge that is related to your goals. Ask followers to tag their friends in the posts, and run a contest. It is well worth it.
9# Connect with influencers
Ask influencers if they are willing to speak about you or the brand.
Don’t simply tag username on their stories, instead take time to mix their talent to tell your own stories. For instance, while they are working out, they can present fitness nutrition, or while they are cooking, they can introduce products.
If you are going to boost the account, ask them to give an overview of the account. Tag username, and this will bring more followers to you.
One way to keep the presence on Instagram feed is reporting other’s content but with their consent (usually mentioned on their profile). Write the username in the caption, or tag the account.
11# Connect to other accounts
Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram. So, it makes sense if you connect to other apps. A few months ago, Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that they are going to merge Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging, and the reason is not to leave other apps to buy from Facebook, which is linked to eBay.
Now, there are lots of places that add the Instagram profile too such as Blogs, website homepage, social apps, and all other areas that users are there. They will come and follow you on Instagram once they see the profile.
12# Scheduled posts
The new Instagram algorithm is about the consistency of online activities. It means if you want individuals to see posts, you need to be regular. It doesn’t matter you post 1 or 3 times a day, but you need to be consistent and do it every day.
In this regard, it is good to use some scheduling post tools; Instazood would offer you a very affordable one, it plans posts for a week or month.
13# Increase traffic & bounce rate
What Instagram likes to see from you is the increase in your account’s profile visit and contents. Therefore, by giving the opportunity for to users to tap on the website link, you have driven more traffic into both Instagram account and website.
14# Follow the updates of the Instagram algorithm
subscribe to our newsletters or check our blogs to get the latest news about Instagram rules and new features or algorithms. Being up-to-date would help to stay on top of all Instagram accounts. Also, check Instagram press too to see the latest Instagram news.
15# Determine the relationship with the Instagram followers
As the researches show, Instagram pays attention to users’ relationship meaning that the more you interact with a user, the more Instagram makes sure that the user is one of your family members or friends. So, all actions you take on Instagram such as commenting, responding to a comment, sending direct message, etc. matters to Instagram.
16# Find out when your audience is more active
One of the easiest and fastest way to know that when your audience is more active, is using the Instagram’s insight. Switch your account to business mode to see the Instagram’s insight.
Knowing the general best time to post often works, but as users have different followers and different activities on Instagram, clearly, the exact best time to post on Instagram may vary from a user to another. So, it is better to check your account’s insight specifically.
17# Use the “Mute” option to skip the unwanted posts
Actually there are some posts that you are not interested in seeing them and you don’t want to unfollow them as well, so the best option that comes to users’ mind is muting the posts.
18# The amount of time you spend on the app matters to Instagram
Users who just spend a few minutes on Instagram see the top posts and highlights, but users who check the feed several times a day, would dig deeper on Instagram feed and see the less popular posts too.
Other Tips to get more Instagram followers based on new algorithm
In this section, we have covered all the necessary information about the Instagram algorithm related to the profile and account. All of the info sends signals to the Instagram algorithm that an account is real, and it can show the contents to others .
# Tip 1: Have a clear vision
It is true that the Instagram algorithm is not looking to see specific interests, but not having a clear image of the Instagram account would lead to wasting time and investment on social media. Always connect to a big goal; the reason why you want to boost the Instagram account and why Instagram’s limitation is essential to you. It might be because you are:
- Earning money as an influencer
- Working on business branding
- Driving more traffic & sales
Whatever you are aiming to gain, having a vision helps to know where you would be in future. Get an idea from imagination, set a goal, and write it in the Instagram bio. For instance, write a sentence in bio like:“I want healthier community.” While vision is to increase fitness nutrition sales by 50% by December 2019. This sentence helps others to act more on an account, which is important for Instagram.
# Tip 2: Write a catchy bio
You are running an account to give society something. So, write what would give others in a positive term in bio. Users first look at the profile picture, then they see name and read the bio. Don’t simply pass it, put some time to find a relevant sentence to account or business. For instance, better cleaning, healthier, quickly move, happier are some of the instances of page’s benefits for others.
# Tip 3: Name & username accordance
Our research team has analyzed more than 1000 Instagram accounts for their username and bio. We found that all accounts with a considerable fan have the same username and name. If you have a unique name, then you are lucky! You might also apply for Instagram name verification, which is provided on the app.
#Tip 4: Don’t change the username.
Don’t change the username. Instagram has added some new options to prevent spam accounts. See the joining date, the shared accounts, and username history in “about this account” section. Surely, accounts with unchangeable usernames are more trustable. Though this option is for accounts with a lot of followers, if you still have less than 10k followers, you should also consider it because you will have a lot of audiences one day too. Instagram adds the username changing to profile, and users consider changing usernames as spam.
# Tip 5: Stories highlights
Have you ever noticed some of the professional profiles on Instagram? Almost all of them have a story that highlighted some content on their profile. Instagram also provides an opportunity to select a cover for each highlight. An excellent place to be attractive to others.
Instagram has added some new features. It is good to be up to date and use all the elements in the stories. Though, some of the features, such as inserting a link, need to have a certain number of followers. Tap on the profile pictures in feed, on the Instagram app, and explore all different photos and videos filters as well as options such as quiz, question, location tag, etc.
# Tip 6: Website link
When users visit the profile, many of them click on the website link provided on profile. This can be a website, YouTube links for every post (update the website link), or any other app links such as WhatsApp or telegram. In this way, drive more traffic to websites, and also users can contact in a more comfortable way.
# Tip 7: look for novelty & share quality content
Take some time to read competitors’ posts, and look carefully into their profiles. There are still some gaps that others couldn’t fill it, but you might do it. This reaction is our brain function to catch the difference and originality. Same as Google, Instagram also looks useful for content.
# Tip 8: Number of posts
There are always outliners who can break the trends but don’t look for them. Some may get millions of followers with just one post, but the probability of this trend is very low. The majority of Instagram accounts with a lot of followers have more than 1000 posts, and some with around 20k don’t post much.
Since consistency is vital for the Instagram algorithm it is better to share 1-3 times per day and keep this going.
# Tip 9: Having a subject in posts is good
We found that users react and engage more in the posts with a human face. It is always good to have a specific look at audiences and see the insight of Instagram. Carefully consider what types of colors, content, posts, and size would catch users’ attention.
Specific colors can trigger them more too. For instance, while advertising for a company to sell some fitness nutrition, they realized that a woman with a complete body showing in the picture (before and after using the diet) with while clothes, had the most call-back among all other types of photos. Users like reality, so use any posts that give them a sense of reality.
# Tip 10: Getting featured on Instagram
Once you have at least 10 k followers, there is a chance to get featured on Instagram explore (categorized exploring). The Instagram algorithm is complicated, and even if you have less than 10k followers, posts might get featured, and the name, username, the number of likes, video views, bio, website link all are important. You should use relevant hashtags, content, and high-quality pictures to enhance the likelihood of getting featured.
# Tip 11: Engaging Captions
Before sharing posts, take the time to write content. To summarize, consider these items to write captions:
- Having a sense of humor
- Clever & thoughtful
- Song Lyrics, or useful quotes
- Business-mind captions
If you search the web, surely there are many ideas about each type of caption. The feelings the content gives to others, using engaging sentences, popular hashtags, relative captions, and pictures or videos. Tagged users in captions.
What to write? I suggest you don’t use cliché such as “good day.” Write posts with some related ideas. For instance, explain the reason why you have taken photos or feelings while recording the videos. Others would read descriptions. A friend of mine was selling toys.
First, she uses to write some content like this “to order these toys DM me,” and she had less than 1000 engagements. Once she changed the caption to “this is the most stress-relief toys you have ever seen,” she says a 30% increase in the posts engagements. Using questions is also useful in the captions.
It is all about sense. Once you share something, based on the feelings you have given to others, they decide to follow, like, comment, or unfollow you! So, better read captions at least three times to make sure it’s attractive enough and free of errors.
# Tip 12: Relevant Hashtags
I installed some apps to find the related hashtags, but I haven’t found any satisfying app. I type in the search bar, and I use hashtags that have more posts. Many users would reach the posts from hashtags, and they might be interested in the content while visiting profile and start following you.
It is also useful to read competitors’ hashtags; get some ideas. Don’t forget to use hashtags too, for instance, brand or specific word of mouth; this makes the content unique. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but 4-5 is enough!
# Tip 13. Pay attention to the photo quality
Attractive and eye catching photos are always shared on Instagram from a user to another, try to stop people on your post for a few seconds to engage with the photo you have shared.
#Tip 14. Reply to direct messages
Replying to Instagram direct messages shows that you respect to the audience and care about them, so it would make them happy and they might interact with you and engage with your posts and Stories more than they used to.
To stay top and rank higher on Instagram, you should be aware of the newest Instagram algorithm. Now, the changes are about making connections (which we suggest through DM), showing the right interest, and keeping consistency on Instagram (through schedule posts, and posting more frequently). Write your results or issues in the comment, so our experts would reply as soon as possible.