Instagram is updating its algorithm to mirror that of its parent company, Facebook. Now posts will appear in order of relevancy to the particular user rather than in sequential order.
TechCrunch speculates that this algorithm change may be Instagram’s first step toward increased monetization. Kevin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram stated the change is only to optimize which posts viewers see.
“On average, people miss about 70% of the posts in their Instagram feed,” he said. “What this is about is making sure that the 30% you see is the best 30% possible.”
Regardless of the company’s intent, Instagram’s change will affect advertisers. With the company expected to grow 149% this year and to build on Facebook’s 51% growth last year, Instagram needs to become more monetized. Optimzing posts—whether they be ads or users posts—will aid the company in doing this.
Instagram’s announcement coincidentally comes in tandem with Pope Francis’ arrival on the site. In under 12 hours, the Pope (under the handle “Franciscus”) managed to top 1 million followers. High profile successes like this show that the social network still has much room to expand and evolve.
This will be a year of changes for Instagram. If the company follows Facebook’s path in the monetization process, advertisers can expect to start paying for ad placement. For small brands, customer acquisition may become more difficult.
Photo credit ABC 7.