While Facebook and Twitter had a head start in the social media industry in the mid 2000s, Instagram would come along in 2010 to earn their place among the top hitters. 50 million active users inside the first two years would demonstrate the attraction of this format, allowing people to cut out much of the noise and distraction brought about by those other sites and focus on the aesthetics of the imagery instead.
Acting as a user-friendly picture feed, users could login and display their images before implementing a range of filter options to make the picture pop. It would solidify itself for community members across the US and the world before celebrities and then businesses saw the power of the application.
This is where 2016 arrived and the site decided to embrace key research methods to adapt their algorithm. No longer would the posts be sorted basically in chronological order, but it would determine which posts were considered “best” for the individual. Doubt and curiosity would surround the thinking behind this mechanism and how it actually worked.
That time period across 2016 and 2017 would see start to see those barriers breaking down, opening up new insights for how individuals, celebrities and commercial brands could adapt to Instagram’s research endeavors. If they know what they are looking for, then they can optimize their content accordingly.
Engagement is the key driving factor when it comes to the type of research that informs the Instagram feed. The post has to receive a high amount of clicks. If it is shared with direct messaging or sent out via Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp – even better. Any action that demonstrates the post and the account is receiving digital traction with followers and outside interest, the higher it will be ranked and promoted on an individual feed.
The search history comes into play when discussing the research elements that Instagram will prioritize. The social media giant will track the search bar to see which friend, famous figure or business is sought after to inform the feed. It demonstrates a personal curiosity for general participants who are connecting with the app, or a commercial incentive for brands that want to connect with peers and their community.
Instagram will research account details based on the amount of time that users will spend on specific posts and scanning through account details. It is a search engine optimization (SEO) component that speaks less about the generic interest in a piece of content and delves into the specifics. Clicking on the post is just one phase of this process, because those that remain for the entire picture gallery or video really are enhancing their digital footprint with their followers.
Posts that are recent and fresh still earn major traction when it comes to the nature of Instagram’s research model. Traditionally they would filter an individual feed according to what was brand new, but that would make way for sponsored posts, paid advertisements and “best” content first. However, if there is competition on this front within those categories, then the post that was uploaded most recently should get preferential treatment.
For those who are looking to make the most of Instagram as a branded tool for businesses and commercial enterprises, they should be educated on these research facts. In order to get ahead of the system and leverage the content that is being produced for a selected audience, it is important to follow some key principles. This will include regular engagement with followers, filling in all of the relevant profile information, being consistent with tagging for brand messaging purposes and respecting copyright material provisions.