prêt-approved // the instagram algorithm

now i know what you're thinking...why would i classify the instagram algorithm under the "prêt-approved" series? well, i know this is not the popular opinion, but i am not completely against the algorithm!

*instagram and creative personalities gasp*

i know! but hear me out for a minute. as many of you know, i studied business and finance in college. so although i may be in the creative industries, i approach most things with a business mindset: meaning i understand why instagram incorporated this new organization into their platform. at the end of the day instagram and facebook are businesses and they need to make money to continue to be sustainable. with this new algorithm, it gives accounts and businesses the opportunities to have their posts and advertisements seen by those who may not have otherwise in addition to targeted marketing...and sometimes at a price. businesses and users have the option to boost posts to reach a larger audience than they typically would and the algorithm also allows users the chance to see posts in the past that they otherwise would have missed.

so why am i discussing this now? well, quite honestly, i'm fed up with people blatantly blaming the algorithm for their low performances. i will say this only once: instagram is never going to go back to a strictly chronological timeline, so i think we first need to mourn that feature before we move on. countless times a week i see instagrammers and bloggers alike who are posting screenshots of their underperforming statistics with some variation of the text "ugh the algorithm is working against me and only 1000 people saw my most recent instagram! go to my profile and like it!" and now this new platform has some users jumping the instagram ship with the promise of a chronological timeline. this all seems a little drastic to me and before we all abandon all of our hard work on instagram, let's take a deep breath for a second.

admittedly, the algorithm has forced us (and by "us" i mean anyone on instagram) to think outside the box in terms of our content and approach to the platform entirely. our feeds have to look aesthetically pleasing now more than ever to immediately grab potential followers and we need to have a consistent approach to instagram (i also talked about the importance of an instagram aesthetic on dana's blog!). the algorithm also places us in a position where we have to continuously be engaging in order to get engagement but i don't necessarily see that as a downside. although i do spend more time on the platform than the average person, i love exploring new profiles for inspiration and genuinely love connecting with people via instagram. this algorithm is not for the people who have sat back in the past and let the followers come to them...and those users are the ones who are the loudest in their opposition. instagrammers now need to be proactive and engaging in order to get the engagement they desire in return. 

manipulating the algorithm to your advantage is not as hard as many people are making it out to be...and no, i don't turn on post notifications for every person i follow because that would literally drive me insane. recently i have started to follow quite a few more people on instagram than i have in the past but when the algorithm was getting to be in full swing, i would come home from work and go through instagram and like every. single. post. and dana can attest to this! but by doing this, i was able to create relationships with people of followings large and small. and guess what, those people still comment and like my posts today and i still do for them! additionally, i do not participate in giveaways to gain a quick following. this is key! while there may be some high quality followers in the handful that you gain, most of them are going to be ghost followers if not bot accounts. meaning they will never see nor engage with your content therefore diluting the statistics. at the end of the day, i would rather have 14.5k high quality followers than 14.5m bots. where is the fun in that?

there is never going to be a "one size fits all" guide to crack the instagram algorithm but it's safe to say the day's of posting photos whenever you want, with whatever filter of random things are long gone. and while the algorithm may be forcing us to push ourselves to be more creative and engaging, i'll be here along for the ride!

so before i leave you, let's all remember, there is no overnight solution to growth on instagram! work hard and be proactive if you want your reach and following to grow!

while i may be in favor of the algorithm, i do love these posts that share their viewpoint of the shift on the platform!
i love dana's point that she makes about not taking it too seriously! it's key that if a post performs poorly, to not worry about it, learn from it, and then move on!
love erica's approach to the algorithm and completely agree with all of her tips! especially about her emphasis of posting consistently to instastories!
alice and hannah stress the importance of the timing of their posts!
krystal shared some amazing tips that have helped her conquer the algorithm and she puts a lot of weight on the first 10-20 minutes after a post goes live!
and finally, i love how alicia mentioned she is shifting the focus back to her blog and website. because that's really the only site where you have complete control!

i would love to hear your thoughts on the algorithm or instagram in general! the good, bad, and the ugly, i want to hear it all!