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In a bold move to prioritise originality, Instagram has restructured its algorithm, focusing on elevating original content over reposts. Announced on 30th April 2024, this update aims to empower creators, especially those with smaller followings, by ensuring their unique content reaches broader audiences.

Key Changes in the Instagram Algorithm

Favouring Original Content

The new algorithm is designed to give a significant boost to original content creators. Here's a breakdown of the main updates:

  1. Initial Audience Testing

    Every piece of content is first shown to a small group of users who are likely to enjoy it.

  2. Performance-Based Distribution

    If the content performs well in this initial test, it is then shown to a larger audience. This process continues, amplifying high-performing posts.

  3. Original Content Preference

    When identical content is detected, Instagram prioritises and distributes the original post. Reposted content will be replaced by the original in the Explore and Recommended sections.

  4. Attribution and Punishment for Reposts

    Reposts will now carry a label crediting the original creator. Accounts that frequently repost content (more than 10 Reels in 30 days) will be penalised by reducing their visibility in recommendations and Explore.

These updates predominantly target Reels but are expected to influence feed posts as well. The focus remains on enhancing discoverability for original creators and ensuring they receive due credit for their work.

What Does This Mean for Content Creators and Brands?

For individual creators, especially those just starting or with smaller followings, this update is a significant opportunity. The algorithm's emphasis on originality means that quality content is more likely to be seen, regardless of the creator's follower count.

Impact on User-Generated Content (UGC)

Brands that rely heavily on user-generated content (UGC) must adapt to these changes. If your strategy involves reposting a lot of UGC, particularly Reels, you'll need to be mindful of the new restrictions:

  • - Reels Limit: Keep reposted Reels under 10 per month to avoid penalties.
  • - Use Remix Feature: Transform UGC into your original content by adding your own spin using Instagram's Remix feature.
  • - Focus on Photos: UGC photos are less impacted by these changes and can still be shared freely.

Stories Remain Unaffected

Fortunately, these algorithm updates do not impact Instagram Stories. Sharing content to Stories retains original attribution and does not affect your visibility in Explore or recommendations. Meaning you can continue to leverage Stories to engage your existing audience without concern.

Maximising the New Algorithm for Growth

To make the most of Instagram's new algorithm:

  1. Create High-Quality, Original Content: Focus on producing engaging, original Reels and posts that resonate with your target audience.
  2. Engage with Your Audience: Interaction remains key. Respond to comments, engage with followers, and foster a community around your content.
  3. Leverage the Remix Feature: When using UGC, utilise Instagram's Remix feature to add your unique touch and create content that is considered original.
  4. Monitor Performance: Pay attention to which types of content perform well in the new system and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Looking Ahead

Instagram's latest algorithm update is a clear message: originality matters. By prioritising unique content and rewarding smaller creators, Instagram is levelling the playing field and fostering a more authentic and engaging platform. For brands and creators, this is a chance to innovate and connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways.

Stay adaptable, keep creating, and watch how these changes can propel your Instagram presence to new heights. Remember, the platform will continue to evolve, so staying informed and flexible will be crucial for ongoing success.

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