Instagram Updates Algorithm to Prioritize Original Content

Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri has announced a massive change to Instagram’s algorithm: the prioritization of original content.

This change signals a starkly different approach from another company under the Meta umbrella: Facebook, as impressions for organic content have plummeted on Instagram’s sister social media website.

Mosseri said in the release:

“If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something that you found from someone else. [As such] we’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

For content creators and social media marketers, what exactly does this mean?

While Mosseri did not give an entirely thorough response, especially regarding whether or not users who repost content from other platforms would see a hit on their reach, he did reply to questions via Twitter.


Here are the main takeaways regarding this update:

 

  • Posting history counts. Mosseri noted that if an account is a repeat offender of posting mainly reposted content, they’ll be able to detect it which will likely lead to a reach decline. Reposting content from brands or resharing memes has been an easy way to bump engagement on the app, but it seems as though now that may no longer be the case.
  • Content edited outside of Instagram, then uploaded, is still allowed. “The idea is if you made it, it’s original. It’s okay if you edited it outside of Instagram and then bring it in via the gallery,” Mosseri stated. However, in a statement last year, Instagram did say that content re-shared from other apps and had visible watermarks (most notably, TikTok) would be down-rated in the algorithm. Content that still contains visible watermarks will continue to be penalized in this new update.
  • The new change is still a work in progress. While this new algorithm change is still in early phases, Mosseri acknowledged that Instagram may have a difficult time determining if content is truly “original” or not. While the app has created signifiers to trigger certain results in ranking, there are nuances that complicate the process. Therefore, it’s unclear how large of an impact this will have on our current Home pages and user experiences.

 

The main idea here? For Instagram to give the spotlight back to original creators and away from aggregator sites. Will it have unintended consequences for the everyday user? We can’t be sure, but we’ll definitely keep you updated as the new ranking system gains traction.

 

Disclaimer: Because our platform is a publisher, all content within the platform is considered original content, versus shared.

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