04.04.2016 What Instagram’s latest changes will mean for brands

Some major changes have been afoot at Instagram lately. And we mean major. In this blog we explain what the changes are and what they will mean for brands and businesses.

Your newsfeed is going to be reordered

Ever since Instagram was founded in 2010, our Insta-feeds have been ordered chronologically. As thousands of brands and businesses have joined the platform over the years, this seemed to be a recipe for success. But now this recipe is in the process of being mixed up.

Instagram is now going to change the order of the 150 photos you see in your feed (it has always only been 150 – this is not part of the change, don’t panic). Following in the footsteps of Twitter and parent company Facebook, the algorithms of your Instagram feed will in the next few weeks move the posts it thinks you want to see to the top of the feed. Effectively, this means the images at the top of your screen will be from the friends, celebrities and brands whose posts you most often like and comment on.

Angry users

It’s safe to say people aren’t too happy about this. Over the Easter weekend, Instagram feeds were full of users asking their followers to turn on the notifications feature. This feature means you are assured of seeing that user’s posts in your feed. The hashtags #RIPInstagram, #instagramchanges and #instagramupdates also featured heavily.


However, Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, stated that 70 per cent of images in a user’s feed are never actually seen, claiming “you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most”. This means the changes could be a good thing, especially considering the issue of following people in different time zones.

Additionally, even though the platform’s user numbers have doubled in the last two years, interaction per post is steadily decreasing. So, like it or not, this change is part of Instagram’s plan to maximise engagement by ensuring users receive the most interesting and relevant content delivered to their feed.

Your videos can be longer 

Insta vid

Another change announced last week received a warmer response from Instagrammers. Videos will soon be extended to 60 seconds, a significant jump from the previous 15 second limit. However, the 60 second privilege has already been granted to advertisers. Could this be an attempt to smooth things over with your users, Instagram?

On its own profile on the platform, Instagram posted a video declaring the news. In the caption, it stated: “In the last six months, the time people spent watching video on Instagram increased by more than 40 per cent”. It also said it would make it possible for users to edit together clips from several videos on their camera rolls. This will allow users to easily edit clips without leaving the app. 

So, what will this mean for your business and brand?

If Facebook is any indication, your content’s organic reach might well decline. After Facebook changed its algorithms, businesses invested in more sponsored content on the platform to increase visibility, so there is good reason to wonder whether this will also be the future for Instagram.

However, if your business already receives plenty of likes and comments, your reach might actually increase. But, if your posts don’t currently get that much engagement, the chances are they definitely won’t when the changes are rolled out.

Our advice? This is the time to put some extra effort into the content you put out and more importantly, to monitor and evaluate your activity closely. Find out what works and what doesn’t; that will help you hone your content strategy to maximise your visibility and ROI in the world of Instagram.

Here are our top tips for ensuring your content strategy is as effective as possible:

  • Engage with your followers

The more you engage with them, the more they will engage with you. Comment back, like back, follow your hashtags and thank them for using your tags, maybe even repost (with permission of course); there are many ways of doing it.

  • Get creative with your graphics

Making your posts pop make them more likely to be noticed and liked.

  • Post regularly

There is a fine line between having an Insta-presence and being Insta-annoying. The golden rule is around 3-4 posts a week.

  • As a last resort – ask your followers to turn on notifications


Make sure you give them a reason though. Dangle a carrot – what will they miss out on if they don’t see your posts? Maybe discounts or freebies?

Instagram is a wonderful visual platform that is proven to drive brand awareness and sales for those who use it well, so don’t let the changes scare you off.

But be prepared for more insta-changes…

Instagram stated in a recent blog post that these changes were just “one step of many you’ll see this year”, so all we can say is watch this space.

What do you think about Instagram’s changes? Will it make a difference to how you use it? Let us know @brightercomms