What the new Insta algorithm means for creators

Word on the feed is that Instagram has a new algorithm. Those of you who aren’t brand new to the IG game most likely just shook your heads in despair - maybe you had already noticed a smaller number of likes on your own accounts!

For those who are new or just don’t quite get the algorithm, this is your two-sentence crash course. The algorithm is the way Insta organizes what gets seen by who, the little formula that decides which photos get put first on your followers feeds. Typically, a change in the algorithm means a suspected change in the “rules” of what can help your photo do well, and most likely means that Instagram is making it more difficult for most people’s content to be seen organically. 


The truth is that the algorithm is somewhat secretive, and so it is usually hard to know what exactly Instagram wants for us. Thanks to patterns and what we understand about social media platforms, people DO have some pretty great guesses about what it prioritized by a platform like Instagram. 


Today, we’re going over the main factors that are expected to play a role in how well your photos perform and some things you can do to encourage them!



The save button isn’t new, most of you already use the flag on the bottom left of posts to hold onto drool-worthy food pics for inspiration or wanderlust photos to remember where you should visit next time you’re in Bora Bora.


It’s played a role in how your photos perform for a long time, but with the most recent change, it’s expected that saves have the biggest impact on how well your posts perform.

Saves are most common on posts that are educational or informative, like tips for packing, recipes and mini city visiting guides that people will want to look back to. Encourage saves literally stating *SAVE this post for …* like you see above in @pursesandplanes post!



It’s hard to say for sure if shares would come in second or first, but what’s certain is that they have a big impact! Whether somebody is sending it directly to a friend or sharing it on their story, this can seriously increase your general post reach. 

The best way to get shares is having absolutely breathtaking photos, but that can be hard to judge, so the safest way is just by encouraging your followers. Give them a nice nudge by including “share this with… (ie dog lover/ your sister/ someone you love, etc.), just like @attaliahstrubel has done!



Comments used to play one of the biggest roles, but it seems like those days are gone. Of course they still matter, but even a lot of valuable comments might not have the same impact it once did. 


Nonetheless, if you want to perform well on IG, you still want to be sure you’re paying attention to everything that can help your account have reach. 

Ask a question early on in your post to motivate people to actually write something. Even saying “how has your week been so far?” can get a genuine and ongoing conversation started, and that can have a positive impact on your feed!Check out this example by @hey.pj .



More than ever, likes are taking a back seat to most other forms of engagement. Likes really are a vanity metric at this point and Instagram considers them less indicative of how well-liked your post is. 


Like are always great, but instead of focusing all your energy here, focus on the other 3 factors to start seeing better results on your page!


Now that you’re informed about the tricky algorithm, it’s time to get out in the world and put this information into practice. Focus on your Saves, Comments and shares and get ready to see your instagram grow!


Instagrams changes got you confused? We’ve got you covered. Leave it up to our social experts and check our social media management packages!


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Michelle Pijanowski

Michelle Pijanowski, better known as PJ, is our go-to girl for all things social. Don’t let her love of gourmet ice cream and appreciation of craft beer fool you! She isn’t your average millennial whose experience starts and ends with an Insta account. A traveller at heart, PJ has always been excited by storytelling and connecting with people from all walks of life. Her passion for content creation started when she accidentally landed an internship in marketing that ended up leading her into the worlds of social media and journalism. Despite not even having a personal Instagram at the time, she immediately fell in love with helping brands grow a community through the power of the internet. She’s worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes, from hotels to restaurants to startups. After years of learning the ins and outs of different social networks and completing her degree in Communication and Media, PJ is stoked to help brands build a human connection with a virtual audience.

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