What is a Smart Instagram Feed and How to Outsmart it

“Smart feed” which appeared back in 2016, has become a real tragedy for active Instagram users. If before it was simple: post a photo of a sunset – get likes and enthusiastic comments from friends, now complex algorithms force users to fight for the attention of the audience.

Yes, coverage is now obtained by generating quality content, and the number of subscribers has rapidly receded into the background. In this article, we’ll explain how Facebook’s tribute has affected Instagram, and we’ll reveal secrets to help please the finicky algorithmic feed.

What is a smart Instagram feed?

To understand this multi-faceted phenomenon, we need to go back a bit to the origins of the introduction of the smart feed, when posts began to be displayed not by date of publication, but arbitrarily, relying on Instagram’s unknowable algorithms. Yes, they began mercilessly “mowing down” low-quality photos of food, cats, and sunsets that didn’t gather the right amount of likes.

The upgrade took place in 2016, and the influence on the modification of the social network, of course, was Facebook – the pioneer of the algorithmic feed. Up until that point, the user was greeted by a “That’s all for now” notification, notifying him that the user had finally sorted through the chaos of the posts and browsed through the feed until he had won.

The social network’s popularity grew and the number of users skyrocketed. Naturally, this had an impact on the content being aired. There was much more of it, but for some reason, no one thought about the quality. Then the management of Instagram made a volitional decision: to introduce an algorithmic feed so that first and foremost the audience saw high-quality content posts. Thus, receiving relevant content, users began to spend more time in the social network. Clever, isn’t it?

No one provided official information about the modification of the social network, but all active users immediately realized that it smells hot and now the posts will have to work hard. In January 2019, Instagram confirmed these speculations in a series of tweets.

How a smart feed is formed?

A smart feed is when you publish a post, but it’s not visible to all followers. Yes, it’s sad news, but this is how Instagram seeks to combat the assault of low-quality content.

True, this does not mean that the social network is hiding any posts from you. If you are subscribed to a large number of accounts, it makes sense that the lion’s share of publications you simply can’t keep up with. Therefore, they are automatically moved down so as not to distract you from the main content.

What does the order of posts in the feed depend on? The publications of the accounts with which you:

– interact with frequently on Twitter;

– interact with frequently by visiting the page;

– Provide feedback by responding to posts with comments, likes, and reposts.

For example, accounts with which you’ve been vigorously communicating in private messages will be among the first in the feed. The quality of the content in this case does not play any role.

The social network also carefully analyzes your interests: hashtags, search terms, subscriptions. The purpose of this is very clear – to find the content to which you are most actively responding.

From time to time Instagram conducts “test days”. What does this mean? You are shown the publications of those profiles to which you are subscribed but for some reason do not interact with them. Instagram monitors your level of interest and if the post deserves likes and comments, it will be shown again. If not, it will disappear from the feed again for a long time.

Let us tell you a secret: the algorithms track the time you spend on the platform. Have you ever gone to the “Your Activity” section in your Instagram settings? No? And you should, the numbers may surprise you.

With this item, it’s very simple. Instagram will show you as much content per day as you can view. Naturally, the amount of content for a profile that spends 20 minutes a day on the social network will be much less than for a user who stares at the feed for 7 hours a day.

How to oversmart the smart feed and increase your reach?

Don’t think that only the ill-fated smart feed is to blame for the decrease in coverage, because it supposedly wants to undo your efforts and efforts. Alas, there are other factors beyond the control of algorithms that influence the decrease in feedback:

Followers are hard to surprise. The amount of content on the social network is growing rapidly, so a beautiful photo and a profound quote are not enough. If before the photos of cats gathered tons of likes, now you have to sweat to impress the sophisticated audience with something original.

It used to be easier to get coverage. Before 2016, even a photo of scrambled eggs published during prime time, when half of Moscow was going to work and hanging out on their phones, could hit the feed and get a response, but now everything has changed. Now it is much more difficult to reach your target audience because subscribers will see quality content first, and then if they are lucky, your eggs.

Advertising. After the introduction of the smart feed, bloggers and commercial pages began to sin with ads. Whether users want it or not, even if they just scroll through it, they’re wasting time they may have spent looking at your publication.

If you are past the stage of denial and have accepted the fact that the algorithmic feed, unfortunately, is not going anywhere, it is time to move to the offensive phase and change something in your strategy to attract the attention of subscribers. By increasing engagement, you will automatically move up to the top of the feed and start to be featured in it more often.

How do you do it? Catch some effective tips.

Taken from: https://unsplash.com/photos/71Qk8ODIBko

Work on the quality of your content.

It’s not just about an attractive picture, it’s also about content. Publish quality photos that you want to look at. Travel bloggers are the easiest to work with because they can post incredible landscapes and locations.

Try to surprise subscribers with posts on relevant and provocative topics. Open-ended questions at the end of the text are a great way to get your audience talking and get feedback in the form of comments. If you have any problems writing posts, you can always ask the professionals to write my paper for me.

Even though the majority of Instagram users believe that the likes are just to amuse their self-esteem, this is not quite true. Comments and coveted hearts allow you to placate your algorithm feed and get more coverage.

More video…more video

Yes, photos and videos work the same way, but the advantage of video content is that it plays automatically, which means it’s guaranteed to grab people’s attention and make them stop while watching the video.

You don’t have to pull out a tripod, set up lights, and shoot something genius to satisfy the aesthetic needs of your followers. Just a little live video or a glimpse of a boomerang is enough.

Post stories regularly.

The Stories algorithm also pays a lot of attention to relevance, since the very essence of Stories is to show the latest news from users’ lives. Therefore, some accounts that post them frequently may end up at the top of the feed, even if you interact with them quite infrequently.

No, we’re not urging you to flood your followers with useless photos and memes every 2 seconds. Everything needs to be approached wisely.

Don’t ignore live events.

Live broadcasts are a cool way to engage with your target audience. Yes, broadcasts have nothing to do with your feed ranking, but when you start a broadcast, your followers are notified when it starts. That means you have an opportunity to get their attention. Especially since this type of content is much easier than video.

Add some interactivity

Games, Stories polls, contests, and giveaways can all greatly increase your reach. Subscribers give you a coveted reaction, and you, in turn, delight them with gifts. Everyone stays on the plus side.

But we recommend you not to overuse interactivity, because your subscribers might just get used to it and stop giving you proper feedback in the form of likes and comments.

Use bots wisely

Stealing subscribers is bad and even dangerous because you risk getting into the “shadow ban”. But no one forbids you to push your followers to actively interact with the published content. There is a logical question: how to bring this process to automatism, so as not to spend hours sitting with the phone in his hands?

Your indispensable go-to guy in this case is the acclaimed bot Jesica, designed to naturally auto-pay and increase the engagement of your own and other people’s followers.

Taken from: https://unsplash.com/photos/XB_VsYA-H7A

Inundate your audience with posts

In the timeline era, a high frequency of posts per day might have alienated subscribers and prompted them to click the unsubscribe button, but that trend has now passed into oblivion. Remember: the more the better.

Because of the algorithmic feed, users see only a fraction of the posts, so even if you put up three posts a day, it won’t annoy your loyal followers. And for you, it’ll help to test your content faster and see which photos and videos “get” your audience and which don’t.

Publish when followers are online.

Publish your posts at a time when most of your audience is online. That way you’ll increase your reach and get good feedback.

Here’s how it works: When a post is actively liked, it automatically appears in your feed, even for subscribers who rarely interact with your content.

Thanks to the speed of the “hearts” set, you can even make it to the top by hashtags. However, you need to approach their selection wisely.

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William Finley

I'm a writer. a specialist working on social media marketing View all posts by William Finley