Social media platforms are battling to hold onto their audiences as new platforms are created. And in this fight, content is king, and content creators are the kingmakers.
Because Instagram is a primarily audiovisual platform, it is in a particularly precarious position, as new players like TikTok and old players like YouTube keep finding new ways to eat into its user base.
To fight back, Instagram has announced changes to how it will reward original content. If you are an Instagram creator, here’s what you need to know.
Instagram to Rank Original Content Above Reposts
Instagram has changed its algorithm to drive eyeballs towards original content as a priority.
If you use Instagram frequently, you will notice that a great deal of the content has been lifted, mostly from TikTok, but also from Twitter and YouTube.
To discourage this practice, Instagram has updated its algorithm to bury such content deep in the bowels of its servers while lifting original content to the top (content created or published for the first time on Instagram).
How It Works
If the Instagram algorithm detects that a video or photograph is new, that content will go to the top of its recommendations to billions of users, be it in the Reels tab or the feed. This should help creators. It should also help Instagram itself make more money.
However, according to this tweet from Instagram head Adam Mosseri, the Company does not have a foolproof way of determining an original piece of content.
“We can’t know for sure. We build classifiers to predict how *likely* something is to be original, but that’s not knowing. We look at things like who’s in the video, and if we’ve seen the video before.”
To help Instagram’s algorithm better identify original content creators and connect them to their content, Instagram has expanded access to two features that its users can take advantage of:
1. Product Tags
Product tags have now been enabled for everyone in the US. This feature was previously only available to creators and brands.
According to TechCrunch, all US users can tag products from businesses set up for Instagram Shopping, making it easier for your friends and family to discover new brands and products while making it easier for businesses to grow their audience on the platform.
2. Enhanced People Tags
In the past, it has been difficult to tag people on Instagram. But today, the app is now allowing creators to edit their profiles and add a category that lists what they do.
According to TechCrunch, this feature “will allow users to share and view a creator’s specific contribution to a photo or video post… Creators will be able to tag other creatives within their posts as a way to give them more exposure for their work”.
So if you were the stylist or producer behind a photo shoot or video, this would now show up in your tag.
Instagram is undoubtedly taking a risk.
By pushing down reposts, the company runs the risk of missing out on the engagement from people sharing popular memes and other content from across the internet.
However, by rewarding original content with more exposure, Instagram is probably betting and hoping that it will become a source of viral content and not a destination.
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