Instagram 2019: is the feed sacrificed compared to stories?

Instagram - KF ADV digital agency Vicenza

Instagram 2019: is the feed sacrificed compared to stories?

In the last two months many rumors circulated about the changes made on the most used social platform in recent times. Some people noticed low visibility of the posts compared to the stories, others believed that videos or photos received a disadvantageous treatment in the order and frequency of appearance on the feed. Others still claimed that posts with many hashtags were penalized. So, good news for everyone: the new algorithm doesn’t harm anyone, neither those who use a lot nor those who use little Instagram.

What has changed

The previous functioning of the platform provided the possibility to see only 70% of the posts of the followed people and only 50% of the posts of friends. Why? Because the display was strictly, and only, chronological. This means that other parameters were not taken into account. Now, having removed this type of visualization, an algorithm has been introduced that instead tends to support the habits of each user.

With the new algorithm it is possible to see up to 90% of posts published by friends and, thanks to the new options, many more posts that respond to the interests shown online by the user.

How does it work?

How does Instagram calculate the favorite types of posts for each user? The algorithm is based on three macro criteria:

  • Interest: the algorithm establishes it based on the satisfaction index shown for previous posts with similar content.
  • Recent activity: Instagram tends to give precedence to the most recently shared post by the followed contacts.
  • Interactions: the algorithm takes into account interactions (comments and likes) with other users, whose contents will take precedence over the others.

These are followed by three other criteria of minor importance:

  • Frequency (with which each member opens Instagram): the less often a person opens Instagram, the more the algorithm will try to make a better selection of posts on the feed.
  • Followers/Following: those who follow many people will see the posts of many different authors appear instead of many posts of the same user.
  • Usage: the time spent on the app affects the posts shown. How? Those who use it for a few minutes will have a more accurate but reduced selection, those who use it for a long time will see almost all the content of the following users.

And now, let’s debunk some myths, in order.

  1. The algorithm does not hide the content shared by the contacts, it only changes the order.
  2. The algorithm does not favor any format: however, it will mainly show what the user has shown to prefer, both videos or photos.
  3. Instagram does not reward those who use Stories or Direct, at most it changes the order of the contents between them.
  4. Instagram does not penalize users who publish often or too little, neither on stories nor on the feed.
  5. Instagram does not penalize those who use many hashtags either.