The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram’s New Algorithm

New Instagram Algorithm | The B Werd

If you’re an influencer, you already wreck your brain with questions like when to post, what to post, and how to post it right. Posting on Instagram gets incredibly strategic if your goal is to yield interaction and growth. For those of us who use Instagram as a way to drive business, build our brands or be discovered by companies we want to work with, understanding Instagram algorithms is important to us and as soon as we think we’ve got the hang of one, it’s switched up once again. This last algorithm change was really apparent when my numbers weren’t growing, but instead decreasing and my posts were struggling with engagement which wasn’t usual for me. I took it upon myself to find out how to work with the new implementation and how to make the best of the changes.

What You Really Need to Know

After the dozen articles I read through, what I gathered is this – your posts are being tested, before they’re being shown. Here, let me explain… Instagram’s goal is to show you content that you’ll actually enjoy, as opposed to just what’s newly posted. This is the reason why you may see a 6-hour old photo at the top of your timeline, because history shows you’re prone to like that persons post and Instagram is so nice that they want to be sure you don’t miss it. What deems a post as enjoyable? The answer is always going to be numbers. With Instagram’s new algorithm, your post is shown to 10% of your audience first. If you’ve been wondering why some of your posts are only doing 1/10 as well as you normally do, the new algorithm is why. The purpose of this is to gauge the interest of your audience to determine whether or not it’s worth showing to the rest of your followers. The algorithm measures how quickly the small percentage of followers are reacting, liking, commenting on your post and uses metrics from the past to compare how well your newest photo is doing. If your post is doing as well as or even better than average, it has a better chance of being shown to more of your followers as well as being on the explore page. Here are some things you can do differently to make sure you’re getting the most out of your post.


Use Instagram Stories

Utilizing Instagram stories will help you show up on feeds more often, so try and do this daily. The stories that pop up on your feed first are accounts that you engage with the most, so do your part to make sure others are seeing you before others!

Use Hashtags in Your Caption

We all thought we were being slick by posting our hashtag options as the first comment under our Instagram posts, but they were onto us. Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results. This will do away with the option of anyone being able to see your post if they search a hashtag that you use. Now, they have to be included in the body of your caption in order for others to find them.

Get Personal

Leaving the same comments and emojis on everyone’s photos is an easy way to get your account flagged. In an effort to reduce spam accounts who leave comments like “awesome!” or “great pic!”, make sure you’re getting more personal with what you say. Even saying something like “love this!” can come off as impersonal.


Post Just to Post

Choose your posts carefully. Is this something your audience is really going to like, or is it something you can keep on your camera roll? You have 10 minutes to prove your post is worth seeing and if it doesn’t make the cut,

Post and Delete

Instagram is also tracking how long you keep your posts up, so if you’re one of those who like to post and delete until you get it perfect – think again. I also wouldn’t edit your caption for 24 hours after you upload your post. It significantly lowers the chances of your post being seen by the majority.

Wait to Respond

Since they’re gauging how well your photos do within the first 10 minutes, make sure that you’re responding quickly.

The moral of the story is – post better content. You want your followers to stop in their tracks and double tap your pics. If you don’t take anything else away from this post, take away the fact that Instagram is encouraging you to share not just better quality photos, but better quality experiences for those that follow you. The entire point of social media is to be social. Interact with others and give them a reason to do the same with you. If you have to think twice about whether or not you should post something, wait until you’ve got something worthy!

What issues have y’all ran into with this new algorithm? Comment below!


  1. January 24, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    I’m glad you shared the information about the Hashtags in the comment area. I just started doing this and I noticed that I wasn’t getting as much traction as I have in the past. Thank you for sharing!

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 9:36 am

      Yep! Instagram likes to switch up on us without telling us and we’re stuck wondering why our posts are doing so bad! Glad you found it helpful! xx

  2. January 24, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    Great information Courtney! As a new blogger, I needed this! I’ve been posting hashtags in the comments section and when I searched the hashtags, my photo did come up in the feed. Is posting the hashtags in the comments a brand new change as of recently or do you think it still works since it worked for me? Have you personally seen a difference in not finding your posts when you put hashtags as the first comment?

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 9:38 am

      Thanks Ashley! I can’t find my posts when I use hashtags underneath my caption, but I also run my page as a business page and that may be why. Let me keep experimenting and I’ll try and find you a definite answer!

  3. January 24, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Why do they keep changing it smh. I get their goal but dang it I want that old thang back. Before Algorithm was a thing lol

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 9:41 am

      Lol, right?! Unfortunately algorithms will be a thing from this point forward so we just have to try our best to stay informed and in line with them. I hope this helps!

  4. January 24, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    This is really helpful information. Thanks for sharing!

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 9:41 am

      No problem Alana! I hope this helps! <3

  5. Antonia
    January 25, 2018 / 6:18 am

    This was very helpful! I didn’t even know it had switched yet again. Thank you!

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 9:42 am

      It’s always so hard to tell until you notice your numbers aren’t the same, I’m glad I could help! 😉

  6. January 25, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Great, helpful post Courtney! Dropped some social media wisdom and updates on the algorithm that I was completely unaware of. I do notice pictures pop up in my feed from days ago and it leaves me like HMMMM. With the constant change in algorithm, I have set so many post notifications so I don’t miss certain things – that I can get overwhelmed quickly LOL.

    Really insightful. Glad you shared!

    – avid reader

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      I’m even starting to see more and more people I don’t follow on my actual timeline. I’m like ohhhh Lord! We have to keep our eyes on these algorithms or we’ll be working a lot harder, not smarter. Thanks for the feedback Cass! xx

  7. January 25, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    Omg Courtney! I have lost so many followers in the last few weeks and my engagement was super low! I didn’t know what was going on! I was like damn, what is going on with IG! Lol but now it makes sense. This article was very eye opening and I appreciate you sharing all of your knowledge. I will definitely strategize more on what I post, since I also use my IG for business purposes. Thanks so much

    • Courtney
      January 25, 2018 / 2:23 pm

      I was losing hundreddddds of followers so every time I would gain a few my number was lower than before. We have to get strategic with our post to make the best of our time and business in 2018! Thank you for reading boo xx

  8. January 25, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    This was a really helpful post. Even though I am still building my followers, this just gave me the confidence to keep doing what I’m doing because most of the suggestions you offered, I was already doing. And I sooooo hate those spammy comments “love it” and a million hearts on posts that aren’t even relevant to my blog! I literally replied back to someone’s comment saying “please don’t spam my account” so she deleted it.

    • Courtney
      January 30, 2018 / 11:55 am

      I’m so glad you found it useful! Spam accounts are the worst, I’m glad you called em out! Keep going <3