Instagram to roll out algorithm-based timeline

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Is Instagram currently a part of your social media marketing arsenal? If not, an upcoming change to the way it displays posts could make you consider using it.

That’s because Instagram is taking a leaf out of parent company Facebook’s book and will test an algorithm-based timeline.

The bottom line is that photos and videos shared on Instagram will no longer appear in chronological order and will instead be displayed depending on (a) the likelihood that a person will find the content interesting and (b) the relationship of the poster to the content consumer.

So, for example, if a friend of yours posted a photo to Instagram while you were offline for several hours, there’s a strong likelihood that you will see the image next time you open the app.

However, the change also means that if Instagram doesn’t think you’ll like a particular post then there’s a chance you’ll never see it – even if it’s from an account you follow.

The only way to ensure that you don’t miss an update is by turning on notifications on an account-by-account basis. The trouble with that, though, is you’ll receive a push notification for every single post that account publishes.

Nevertheless, many celebrities have posted updates on their own accounts asking their followers to enable notifications, so that they don’t miss any of their updates.

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Instagram announced the changes in a blog post published two weeks ago. The company says that the change’s primary function is to “improve” the experience for its users.

It’s certainly presents an exciting opportunity from a digital marketing perspective.

As Instagram’s advertising product continues to mature, digital marketers will have more scope to serve up ads to targeted individuals based on what matters to them.

The change is currently being tested by a select number of Instagram accounts and there’s no word on when it will be rolled out across the board. All we know is that we’ll “see this new experience in the coming months.”

Are you using Instagram at present? If you’re not, will this new timeline change give you food for thought? We’d love to hear from you.

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