The News: In a recent blog post, Instagram confirmed that the new feed they announced in March has gone live for many users, with the changes coming to everyone’s timelines over the next month. Instagram says the new experience is already resulting in users being more engaged with posts than in their new timeline. The new timeline is populated by posts based on an algorithm that factors in popularity and other metrics, rather than the older chronological version.
PNConnect Insight: This is not an altogether surprising move, given the recent news on their overhauled Insights and improved business tools/dashboards. The move mirrors Facebook’s revamped timeline, which was one of their changes when they “monetized” their site. User reactions have been mixed, with some users upset over their feeds no longer being chronological. However, the positive responses highlight the greatest strength of this change: users will be able to “See The Moments They Care About.” With any innovation, users resist change because it is new. Once this initial shock wears off, the user experience will be much friendlier and less “spammy.” For brands, this means greater care must be taken in developing exciting and relevant content so that people “want” to see the content. Given the new business dashboard that is now available, opportunities to reach audiences in a targeted manner are greater than ever before.
As the platform continues to evolve, brands must continue to evolve how the manage their Instagram profile. Reporting metrics that also customize the user experience must be taken seriously if a brand intends to take their own presence seriously.