Those who follow social media trends know that the only constant is constant change. From one day to the next, a social media platform will update their terms, or algorithms, or layout... At this point the social media pros are catching on and wasting no time in finding ways around the new rules. For those who want to keep their engagement up and rely on their social media accounts for business or revenue, keeping up with the times is vital.
One of the newest terms being used for Instagram is ‘Instagram pods’. What is an instagram pod? I’m here to tell you all about it.
So What Changed?
Well, there are a few changes. Let’s start from where we were.
Before the changes, when a person you follow posted a picture it used to be seen in chronological order. Now, posts are ranked in the news feed. The ranking can be good for viewers, as it uses its algorithm in an attempt to show the viewer content in which they would ‘probably’ like to see. However, this can backfire for a business or influencer.
There are six main factors that determine what you see in your Instagram feed:
- What Instagram Thinks Matters To You - Using your past behavior, Instagram analyzes content you pay attention to and finds similar content to rank highly in your feed. They want you to see what matters to you.
- Fresh Posts Over Stale Ones - How long ago was that post shared? Instagram prioritizes posts that are newer over ones that have been around longer.
- Relationship & Engagement With Each User - Instagram analyzes how much you engage with the person who has posted. They look at photos you may be tagged in together, how often you post on each other’s content, etc.
- Regularity - Instagram takes into account how often you open the site or app. They want you to see the most relevant content first before showing you things that might be hit or miss.
- How Many People You Follow - If you follow a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of authors so you might see less of any specific person.
- Usage - The length of time you spend on Instagram determines how deep Instagram digs into your connection’s feeds. They’ll show you the most relevant first if you usually just scroll for short periods of time. If you listlessly scroll you’ll uncover more content that may or not pique your interest.
Why Was It Changed?
The simple answer is: to keep Instagram personalized for the everyday user. 70% of all posts and 50% of their friends’ posts were being missed. Now, more than 90% of users see their friend’s posts. These changes were made all the way back in 2016, but the method was never really explained by Instagram until recently.
How Social Media Gurus Are Adapting
Some savvy Instagrammers have come together to help each other stay relevant on people’s Instagram feeds. They’ve created ‘pods’, and what that pod does is manipulate Instagram’s new algorithm.
In basic terms, this pod is a group message. Be it text, DM, or any other messaging avenue, you want to be able to speak to the whole pod all at once. Each person in the pod will let the other members know they posted and everyone is obligated to like and comment an original, multi-word (and relevant) comment on that post to boost the signal. Then when you post, they do the same for you. It’s essentially equivalent to the old adage ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’.
How To Find A Pod
You can use Reddit, Facebook, or most any other similar platform. Look for groups or posts by keyword. To find other Instagrammers with similar ground, you may have to dig a bit. There also may be some exclusive pods that you may not be able to get into, but if you hustle enough, finding a ‘pod’ or group is definitely doable.
Is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. It will take time on your part. If you have 20+ people in your pod who post daily, you have to comment daily. If Instagram is vital for your social media signal and revenue, then you’ll do what you have to to keep visibility in front of your potential audience. If you already question how Instagram is helping your business, you may find it’s too much bother. Either way, it’s best to stay informed when changes like these happen. We’re happy to keep your finger on the pulse!