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Instagram updates ranking for algorithm

Instagram updates ranking for algorithm

Yesterday, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced an update to the app’s content ranking algorithm, with it set to prioritise original content.

In the video announcement, Mosseri explained that if someone creates a piece of content themselves, they should receive more credit for it than an account that simply shares content originally posted by others. Therefore, the ranking algorithm on the platform will be changing to place more value on original content compared to reshared posts.

Understandably, Mosseri then received a multitude of questions on Twitter about the algorithm, with many wondering whether they’d receive a penalty for posting content from other platforms. The chief explained that any content edited outside of the Instagram platform that is then uploaded won’t receive a penalty – though as of last year, in a change intended to target creators resharing TikTok videos to Reels, any content shared to the app with visible watermarks from other platforms would be ranked unfavourably, with this still in effect. So, if you edit a Reel on a different app or platform, you won’t be penalised as long as there’s no watermark in sight.

Mosseri explained that “content aggregators” were the target of this update, meaning accounts that simply reshare content from others. In order to determine whether an account is guilty of this, Instagram will look at its posting history, among other factors, such as whether it has come across the video before or the account has multiple videos featuring a particular person.

However, despite this, the Instagram boss did also admit that the platform can’t be certain whether content is original – not yet, at least. He explained that while the platform is building classifiers in order to determine how likely a piece of content is to be original, that’s not the same as knowing for certain. Instagram will be continually working on this process though to fine-tune it and ensure that creators don’t receive unfair penalties.

With the number of accounts that do repost content – from those that simply reshare a popular meme to those whose whole feed is a collection of reshared posts – this algorithm change could have a large impact on the app.

For businesses, this could impact the sharing of customer images, which many do to provide social proof and engage with followers. However, if the business posts original content the majority of the time, it’s likely that the odd reshare of a customer image won’t do too much damage.

The main takeaway from this is that original content is always preferred on the web – whether that’s on apps like Instagram or on your website in order to rank favourably on Google. If you need assistance creating original content for your business, we can help here at Engage Web. Get in touch today to learn more.

Digital Marketing Executive at Engage Web
Emily is no stranger to the world of online content. By the age of just 14, a novel she wrote on the story-writing website Wattpad had amassed more than a million views!

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