Instagram is updating ranking algorithm to put more focus on original content.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has announced that Instagram is making update to the way that it ranks content, in order to put more focus on original work.
Content edited outside of Instagram and then uploaded to the app will not be penalized by this change. acc Mosseri: “The idea is, if you’ve made it, it’s original. It’s okay if you edited it outside of Instagram and then bring it in via the gallery.” As you may recall, last year Instagram announced that it would reshare content from other apps that contained visible watermarks , which specifically focused on resharing TikTok content on Reels. Content with visible logos or watermarks will still be penalized under this policy, at least on reels, but other than that, the change isn’t intended to prevent people from sharing content edited outside of IG itself.
Post history is a factor. Mosseri Remarks that content aggregators are at the heart of this update, and Instagram will be able to reference an account’s posting history to determine this. “If the account is an aggregator, we’re more likely to be able to tell it’s not original.” So if you’re reposting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach. Posting trending memes used to be an easy way to increase engagement, but maybe that won’t be the case anymore.
Instagram’s original content ranking is still a work in progress. Mosseri admits that Instagram has no way of knowing for sure whether content is original or not. “We build classifiers to predict how likely something is to be original, but that’s not knowledge. We’re taking a look at who’s in the video and if we’ve seen the video before. “So if you’re sharing content from other sources, there might be different people in all of your uploads, and that might be a signal while Instagram’s algorithm is also looking for replicated posts. How does Instagram know which account is the creator and which is the replicator? Posted time might be a factor but Mosseri Remarks that “if it’s someone pretending to be the original creator, which is less likely but could happen, it’s going to be hard for us to know.”
Essentially, the goal is to reduce the dominance of aggregator sites and give more credit to the original creators. Ideally, this will result in fewer content farms or re-posters dominating the Explore feed, while Instagram is now also pushing more recommended posts into your main feed, and these too should be more original going forward.
But the system isn’t perfect, and no doubt some accounts are unduly penalized as a result. But again, Mosseri notes that Instagram will evolve its detection processes over time to better determine where the content came from and who posted the original, to reinforce the true creators, rather than let bigger farm accounts take over all the engagement.
This can be big or minimal given the number of aggregator accounts in the app. It’s hard to say right now, but the rationale will be to keep posting original content within the app – and if you do post again, maybe it’s time to lower your trust in that content.
For brands, this could also impact UGC and the repurposing of customer posts and updates if they also post them on their own profiles. UGC can be a great social proof option and a great way to engage with your community, and it really matters to measure the impact of the change versus the benefits of the post.