How Instagram is Updating its Feeds
Major changes are coming to Instagram’s feed in 2022.
Last year, Instagram announced they were reintroducing the long awaited chronological feed. Instagram users have been adamantly requesting the return of the chronological feed since Instagram replaced it with their algorithmic feed in 2016.
However, Instagram took it a step further than simply bringing back the classic chronological feed. Rather than simply introducing one new feed, Instagram is updating its platform to give users the choice between three different feeds.
The 3 Types of Instagram’s New Feeds
In January 2022, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced they officially started rolling out three new feeds for users to choose from.
Instagram’s Home Feed
The “home” feed is what we are now familiar with as Instagram’s feed. The home feed features content from accounts the user is following and suggested posts based on the user’s content interactions.
With the updates to Instagram’s feeds, the home feed will begin to feature more suggested content from accounts the user doesn’t yet follow. We predict this feed will resemble TikTok’s “for you page”, acting as more of a discovery feed with occasional posts from accounts the user follows.
Instagram’s Following Feed
The “following” feed is the classic chronological feed that only shows posts from accounts the user is following, in order of the time they were posted. This feed is pretty straightforward and will not include any suggested content.
Instagram’s Favorites Feed
The “favorites” feed is the newest feed that’s currently featured on any other platform. Similar to the “following” feed, a user’s favorites feed will appear in chronological order. However, it will only show content posted by profiles the user has starred or favorited.
How do Instagram’s new feeds affect businesses?
It’s hard to know for sure how Instagram’s feed update will affect your business’s performance on Instagram. Without any historical data, there’s no way to make any predictions on how users will use the new features.
While the chronological feed is something that users have been requesting for years, TikTok has proven the success for the algorithmic “home” feed (known as the For You Page on TikTok.) It’s very possible that users have adjusted to the algorithmic feed from TikTok’s rise in popularity over the past two years and will no longer prefer the chronological feed.
If this is the case, we can assume Instagram’s update will not have a huge impact on your business’s social media engagement. However, if Instagram users do prefer using the following feed or favorites feed, engagement levels will be impacted.
In order to prepare for these upcoming Instagram updates, it’s important to have a plan in place to adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
3 Ways to Create Content for Instagram’s New Feeds
While Instagram has already started rolling out the feed updates to select users accounts, they announced the new feeds won’t be fully rolled out until mid-2022. Get ahead of these updates by making these changes to your social media strategy right away.
Pay attention to posting times.
Currently, the time that an account posts on Instagram does not have a significant impact on its performance, due to the algorithmic feed. With the reintroduction of the chronological timelines, the time that you post on Instagram will play a much bigger role in how many people see your content.
Before the update fully rolls out, test different posting times to get a better understanding of when your users are engaging online. Use Instagram’s analytics or other analytic tools to see when your followers are online. Create a list of most active days and times for each week.
Once you have an understanding of when your followers are engaging online, begin scheduling posts for 15-30 minutes before these most popular times. The more time that passes between you posting and your followers logging in, the lower on their feed your post will appear.
Schedule any stories or Instagram Lives during these popular time periods as well. If possible, try to be online yourself during these popular times to actively engage with your audience.
Encourage your audience to “favorite” your profile.
If users prefer using the favorites feed, there will most likely be a significant decrease in reach and engagement on your Instagram posts. In order to avoid this from happening, encourage your followers to favorite your profile.
Use calls to action like, “Favorite our account for more great content,” in your captions. Add text at the end of your Instagram Reels like, “Favorite for more!” These calls to action can remind your audience to keep your profile as a favorite, increasing your reach and engagement.
Create content that’s valuable.
Another great way to prepare your business for Instagram’s update is by adjusting the type of strategy you’re sharing. With the introduction of the favorites feed, it’s important to create content that keeps your followers engaged and interested enough that they actively want to see your posts.
In order to do this, you need to share content that is valuable to your audience. (You should be doing this regardless, but that’s another conversation.) The majority of your content should be based around providing value to your audience. Share content that is informational, insightful, or relatable.
Followers will not want to favorite accounts that are constantly posting content promoting their latest services or products. Instead, they’re going to want to favorite accounts that share content that provides them with value. Whether it’s relatable memes, inspirational quotes, or informative tutorials, sharing content that benefits your audience is what will keep them engaged and coming back for more.
The 80/20 Rule
What is the 80/20 rule? It’s a guideline that states 80% of your content should be value-based and the remaining 20% should be promotional-based. This helps keep a healthy balance in your content that will provide your followers with a lot of value while also ensuring your promoting your business.
How to Prepare for Instagram’s New Feeds
The Instagram algorithm is always changing, but by preparing your strategy ahead of time, your small business can use these updates to its advantage. Start making adjustments to your content strategy now, with plans on what type of content to share based on the three different types of feeds.
Once Instagram’s feed update fully rolls out later this year, pay close attention to your analytics. Take note of which types of content are getting more engagement and which posts are not. Also, stay up to date on industry trends to gain insight on how people are using the different types of feeds. This information will help you determine which feed option is most popular among your audience, allowing you to adjust your content strategy accordingly.
If you’re still uncertain on how to improve your engagement rate with Instagram’s latest updates to their feeds, book a call with us to see how we can help! Our team will develop an in-depth strategy to help your business make the most of Instagram’s updates and grow your brand online.