28 December 2020

rainylune: “Why your Instagram Engagement Kinda Sucks Right Now”

For privacy reasons, I’ll refer to the person I spoke to as Mr. Ig. I got a ton of really useful information out of this call, and I will probably have to write multiple articles to cover it all. The most important thing I learned was that Instagram’s algorithm will either reward or punish you based on your usage of the app as a whole. There are over 500 different factors, but it takes much more into account than just the likes, views, comments, etc of a specific post. The algorithm ranks your specific post by taking into account your use of Instagram as a whole.

Think of it like the algorithm is grading you in a class. One test alone doesn’t determine your whole grade - there’s still participation points, homework, classwork, projects, and more. You’ve gotta participate throughout the class as a whole, not just show up for one test and get an A on it.

Instagram currently has a team that is dedicated entirely to just finding good reels for them to promote. If your reel is chosen to be featured, they’ll choose to show it to more people for around a month, leading to a ton of views. But keep in mind that the promo team is Specifically looking at the back end for reels that were made using Instagram’s in app editor. which means no recycling tik toks. You can still have recycled videos do really well, but this basically disqualifies you from being chosen by the team.

Rachel Reichenbach

Interesting piece of information about Instagram’s current ranking algorithm. Since the source is an anonymous media expert from the Instagram Partnerships team, I would not take every statement at face value, but they sound plausible at the very least. The ‘ideal’ amount of content (3 feed posts, 8-10 stories, 4-7 reels and 1-3 IGTV weekly) makes an Instagram Creator feel like a full-time job – without proper pay on top of that – rather than a fun thing to do in your spare time, and is highly unrealistic for most people.

Then again, what else can you expect when the end goal is growth at all costs, by all means? As an individual creator, you are competing against the entire world posting content non-stop, and Instagram does not profit from promoting single creators, but only seeks to maximize its own advertising space.

Personally I have largely given up posting on Instagram because I do not find any satisfaction in this kind of forced social interaction. I enjoy photography, despite the challenges of the past year; I do not enjoy turning my hobby into a automated content machine to keep up with an inscrutable algorithm.

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