[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram’s Latest Algorithm Update Puts Influencers On Notice

New Instagram Guidelines Likely To Hit Influencers & Memes

Instagram has this week rolled out a slew of new algorithm updates, effective immediately, with the intent of making it a more wholesome experience.

The updates form part of a broader community standards push from Big Blue.

Despite having community standards, Instagram is known for having edgier and much more sexualised content than other platforms. Except for perhaps Snapchat.

Although, to borrow Mark Zuckerberg’s recent turn of phrase, Instagram is more of a ‘town hall’ experience, whereas Snapchat is more a ‘living room’ experience.

Which, in plain English, means Insta is more public and Snapchat is more private.

While Instagram’s edgier/sexier content does not violate its community standards, much of it flies quite close to the sun. It is this content which will likely get squeezed.

Instagram Algorithm Post Suppression & Demotion

One of the peculiarities of Instagram is why some cooking/baking/knitting/calligraphy influencers deem it necessary to crochet, or ice cupcakes, while wearing bikinis.

In winter.

In Edinburgh.

We all know that sex sells.

However, as The Betoota Advocate (perhaps Australia’s best satire site) likes to regularly point out, Instagram has basically replaced Nuts and Zoo Magazine, as soft porn channels.

It is this type of content, along with gnarly memes, which Instagram has in the crosshairs:

‘We have begun reducing the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s Community Guidelines, limiting those types of posts from being recommended on our Explore and hashtag pages.

For example, a sexually suggestive post will still appear in Feed if you follow the account that posts it, but this type of content may not appear for the broader community in Explore or hashtag pages.’

Although, where is the line between being sexually suggestive and empowering? Kardashians old and young must be sweating… 

How Does An Algorithm Define Bad Taste?

Considering Instagram users’ love of dank memes and buff bodies this is sure to be a controversial move.

A move which is likely to affect, every day users, influencers and brands alike.

Instagram’s product lead for Discovery, Will Ruben:

‘We’ve started to use machine learning to determine if the actual media posted is eligible to be recommended to our community.’

To make matters more complex, Creators currently have no guidelines about what constitutes borderline content. Although this will inevitably change in the coming weeks.

Content which triggers the borderline content policy will not be blocked, per se, rather it will see its wings clipped. With organic reach being suppressed, subject to the opinions of Instagram’s AI.

Considering what a bad job Facebook does policing content which actually violates its guidelines, i.e. Christchurch terror attacks, one can only imagine this will be similarly botched.

Marketers and influencers beware, winter is coming.

So maybe pop on a roll neck.


[Image credit: Techcrunch]


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