“I wish my social networks just predicted what I wanted to see.”
– said no one ever
Unfortunately, no one at Instagram and Twitter got the memo that people dislike when Facebook messes with their algorithm to determine what users see on their newsfeeds because all three channels now have algorithms.
Twitter used to be a place where you either saw a tweet when it was posted, or you missed it because it got lost in your fast-moving feed. That changed in February. Now, Twitter is choosing the tweets you see:
Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline. We choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more.”
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has shown pictures in chronological order, but this month they announced they will be adopting a newsfeed personalizing algorithm similar to that of their parent company, Facebook. Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram will now show you photos in an order based on your past interactions and activity on the app.
While Instagram explained its reasoning – on average people only see 30% of posts and they want to make sure that is “the best 30% possible” – users are not happy. Users liked being able to scroll through and chronologically see what their friends and family posted and the chronological order let users know where they left off when they signed back on.
What does this mean for marketers?
Twitter and Instagram are now reinforcing what Facebook has been telling us for years – engagement matters. You need to continue to make content that your audience wants and that your audience will engage with; social media is, now more than ever, about making your audience happy. If you don’t, these algorithms will make you lose your audience.
What do you think of the new changes? How are you changing your content marketing strategies to make sure your content cuts through the noise and makes it to the top of the newsfeeds?
Update March 29, 2016: Instagram noted that they will be communicating with users when/if they do in fact roll out new algorithms. Users voiced some pretty big concerns and Instagram has mentioned they are taking those into consideration. Our take? Be mindful of changes to come and how they could affect your content marketing initiatives in the future.