Don’t blame the algorithm, you áre the algorithm

Hey y’all! Welcome to the first #Blogvember post! This time I wanted to share something about Instagram. You see, social media is a wonderful place. It is also the perfect place to whine about things. Some see this as keeping it personal, I see it as spewing things I don’t need to hear. Sorry not sorry. I want to get into the trouble people have with the fabled Instagram algorithm. Let’s get into it! (PS: want to read more about this subject? Read here!)

Why do algorithm based timelines exist?

Until like 2015 Instagram was quite basic in its inner workings. The timeline was linear and based on posting time. All the posts of the people you followed were shown in your feed. Oh how simple times were back then. Since then -and since being bought by Facebook- they configured it all a bit. The new timeline is based on “what you want to see” and “what keeps you on the platform as long as possible”. Just like any commercial company, Instagram wants to make as much money as possible. This means: pleasing its users and keeping you scrolling. Because: the longer you’re there, the more ads and sponsored posts they can show you. It’s quite simple actually.

What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is -to my understanding- comparable to artificial intelligence. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Just like an robot can be self learning and develops an ‘identity’ based on the pattern of actions it sees, an algorithm learns from your actions. So say, you’re clicking on and liking a lot of pictures with funny cats: Instagram will show you more of this. I’m not going into the mathematics and technicalities of algorithms, but that’s basically how it works. You like stuff: Instagram will feed you more of that stuff. The general public likes stuff: Instagram will show you more of that stuff.

We humans are robots. And vice versa.

Engagement and the fabled algorithm

If you are a person who posts regularly on Instagram, and likes and comments have worth to you: this can teach you something. A lot of people are struggling with slumps in their likes and comments or better worded: their engagement. If you are in the market to become a digital entrepeneur (blog about this will be up this month), this describes your worth and what you can earn. If the algorithm is acting up in your disadvantage, this can mean trouble. What I would tell you first: never assume you will keep growing and can’t instantly lose what you have. If you want to do something to keep you in the favours of the fabled Instagram algorithm, please read on! Success in no way whatsoever guaranteed.

Image via: http://madefreshly.com/blog/howto/instagram-engagement/

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, and expecting a different outcome

Well, that’s an oversimplifying statement, isn’t it? It’s not wrong though in my opinion. If you struggle with a lower engagement and you keep posting pictures in the way that you always did: you’re not doing something smart. You might want to change it up. First thing: change up your hashtags once in a while. Look at accounts with the same theme as you, and looks which ones are successful or growing. Then look at the hashtags they are using. Chances are, they use hashtags you don’t use. Try to implement them, you have nothing to lose! Also the way your pictures look can make a difference. Trends come and go, and this is the same with composition of pictures. I have learned that for a while birds eye views worked pretty good. So I posted those.

Rounding up, coming to my point

To conclude: complaining about the Instagram algorithm is in no way productive. Trying to change things up ís though. Also know, you influence the algorithm. So if you want to see less of a certain kind of content: consume less of this kind of content. It works both ways. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next blog for #Blogvember! Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date! Bye!

 

2 thoughts on “Don’t blame the algorithm, you áre the algorithm

  • Thanks for the info. I’m a newbie on IG. With an ‘interior’ account that is. I’ve some issues with the interior accounts because a lot of people use weird captions (IMO). I want to read about the interior ms and not “it’s raining today so don’t forget your umbrella. What color umbrella do you have?” or more of this mundane stuff. Because almost everyone is doing it I started doing it myself…. but that’s not who I am. I understand that you have to end your caption with a question to get some interactions and interaction is what IG/algorithm wants but I’m struggling haha.
    I really I like your IG, that’s no news to you with the amount of followers. I’ve just recently discovered your blogposts so I’m going to hangout here for a bit.

    • Thanks! I appreciate it! As for those captions: I did it as well myself for a while, but to me it felt fake. I think interaction will come from certain choices you made in your home, or with a funny caption. It doesn’t háve to be a question.

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