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Instagram Changes Ranking Algorithm To Favor Original Content

Instagram is updating its home feed ranking algorithm and giving a boost to original creations.

Instagram’s home feed ranking algorithm is receiving an update that’s designed to boost the visibility of original content.

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced the ranking change is one component of a larger effort to reward originality and give credit where it’s due.

Mosseri states:

“People expressing themselves is the heartbeat of Instagram. It’s what makes Instagram work. I’ve talked a lot this year about how creators are incredibly important to Instagram’s future. And one of the things I’ve learned from speaking with creators is how important getting credit for their work is to them. So today, a few hidden gems, a few way’s we’re going to make sure that credit is going to those who deserve it.”

He goes on to discuss three updates intended to help credit creators for their work:

  • Home feed ranking change
  • Product tags
  • Enhanced people tags

Here’s more about each of the changes rolling out.

Instagram Ranking Update

Without revealing too many details, Mosseri says Instagram’s ranking algorithm will now assign more value to original content.

That means content someone creates and publishes themselves is likely to be more visible on Instagram than republished content.

Mosseri explains:

“I know a lot of you are skeptical of ranking, but it really does help us make sure that Instagram is more valuable to each and every person who uses the platform. This [update] is specifically focused on this idea of originality.

If you create something from scratch you should get more credit than if you are sharing something that you found from someone else. We’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

Short on specifics, this announcement immediately calls to mind several questions. One of them being: Does the content have to be original to Instagram?

It’s common for creators to share the same piece of content on multiple platforms

What if a user is reposting content they originally created and shared on another site?

Would they still get a boost for publishing their own content even though it’s available elsewhere?

Or, would it be considered reposted content since it can be seen outside of Instagram?

It’s not clear if the intention here is really to reward creators for originality, or to encourage the creation of more Instagram-exclusive content.

Hopefully Instagram shares more information about this update in the future.

Product Tags

The ability to tag products in Instagram posts was previously available to select users. Now, this feature is available to everyone.

Mosseri states:

“Product tags have been available for a while now, but they’re now going to be available to everyone. So no matter who you are out there, you can tag a product and drive some traffic or attention to a business or a creator that you love.”

You can tag a product in an Instagram post by following these steps:

  • Start to create a post.
  • Tap ‘Tag people’.
  • Search and tag the brand first.
  • Two options should show up at the bottom labeled ‘People’ & ‘Products’.
  • Tap ‘Products’.
  • Tap the photo to start tagging products.
  • Hit ‘Share’ to publish the post.

This feature is designed solely to shout out your favorite brands and small businesses.

There are no benefits, such as affiliate income, if someone buys a product tagged in your post.

Enhanced People Tags

Instagram’s existing people tagging feature is getting a small enhancement.

Now, individual users can add categories to their profile that show up when they’re tagged in a photo or video.

If someone publishes a video of you speaking at a conference and tags you, this new category feature will allow people to see who you are and what you do.

Mosseri states:

“So you’ve always been able to tag accounts on Instagram and photos or videos for a long time now, but now you can actually select a category for yourself.

So if you go into profile, edit profile, and that category will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. Again, trying to make sure that you can have your presence, your identity, be what you want it to be and have that credit flow appropriately.”

Lastly, Mosseri reiterates Instagram is committed to ensuring users are credited appropriately.

“Again, creators are incredibly important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure they’re successful on the platform and they’re getting all the credit they deserve. And hopefully these three changes are small steps in that direction.”

Source: @mosseri on Twitter

Featured Image: maridart/Shutterstock

Category SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Instagram Changes Ranking Algorithm To Favor Original Content

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