Instagram’s Algorithm Update: Boosting Original Content from Smaller Creators

Instagram is rolling out significant changes to its recommendation system, aiming to prioritize original content and provide increased visibility for smaller accounts. The company announced these updates in a recent blog post, signaling a shift in how content is surfaced across the platform.

The primary change addresses aggregators, accounts that repost content without proper attribution or enhancement. Instagram is taking a firm stance against such practices by removing reposted content from recommendations. Serial reposters, defined as accounts that share unoriginal content more than 10 times in 30 days, will be excluded from Explore page and main feed recommendations. However, accounts with licensing agreements or resharing permissions from content creators will not be affected by this update.

Moreover, Instagram will replace reposted content with the original creator’s post in recommendations, provided that the original content is relatively new and visually or audibly identical. Creators will receive notifications when their content replaces reposts in recommendations. While these changes apply only to recommendations, reposted content will still be visible on aggregation accounts’ profiles and feeds.

Additionally, Instagram will introduce a label crediting the original creator on reposted content, although both the creator and the reposting account can remove the label. This crackdown on aggregator accounts is expected to have wide-ranging effects, potentially impacting individuals who regularly repost content from organizations or celebrity fan pages.

Instagram is also revamping its recommendation system to give all creators an equal chance of reaching a wider audience. Previously, Reels were ranked based on how an account’s followers engaged with them, favoring accounts with larger followings. To level the playing field, Instagram’s new ranking algorithm will test content with a small audience and promote the top-performing Reels to a wider audience, iterating the process over time. This change aims to democratize content discovery and may lead to more opportunities for smaller creators to go viral.

These updates come amid ongoing discussions about reach and engagement on Instagram. While they don’t directly address concerns about content visibility, the emphasis on recommendation system updates suggests a renewed focus on providing users with diverse and engaging content. As these changes roll out over the coming months, it will be interesting to see how they impact the platform’s dynamic and the opportunities available to creators of all sizes.

Written by Maya Robertson


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