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Instagram is Changing Its Algorithm, Focusing on More Original Content

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IG Algorithm Change - iMusician

In a recent blog post, Instagram announced some significant changes to its recommendation system. The updated algorithm will focus on original content and smaller accounts instead of ‘ripped-off’ reposted content.

Less reposted content, more original posts

Instagram has taken a decisive step to acknowledge a persistent issue with aggregators — user accounts that download or screenshot someone else’s pictures and videos and repost them. While sometimes aggregators credit the original creators by tagging them in the post or caption, in many cases, the content is outright ripped off with no acknowledgment whatsoever.

To tackle the issue, Instagram will remove such reposted content from recommendations across the platform. The new update will mostly target serial aggregators, who share content that they didn’t participate in creating or enhancing in a material way more than 10 times in 30 days. Such content will completely disappear from users’ Explore page or main feed recommendations.

The regulation will not affect “a set of publishers” with valid licensing agreements or specific resharing permission from original content creators. Those affected can become eligible for recommendations again 30 days after the last time they reposted “unoriginal content.”

Instagram doesn’t stop at just cutting off repost accounts. It will replace the reposted content with the original creator’s post in the recommendations. At least, that will be the case with “relatively new” original content, which “based on audio and visual signals” is identical to the reposted content.

Creators will be notified when their original post replaces the reposts and is recommended on the platform instead. Additionally, Instagram will begin adding labels crediting the original creator on reposts. However, the label will be removable by both the original creator and the account reposting the photo or video.

Finally, Instagram is determined to give all creators across the platform an “equal chance of breaking through” by implementing a new ranking algorithm this year. Previously, the system would recommend content, particularly reels, primarily based on the engagement levels of the account’s followers. This suggests that accounts with the largest follower count would often see the most engagement and, thus, reach.

Now, to give smaller accounts a chance to compete with bigger creators to reach a wide audience, the algorithm will show a portion of their content to a “small audience” that is likely to show interest in it — whether they follow the creator or not. The top-performing Reels in the group will then be recommended to a wider audience, and the process will repeat itself.

Theoretically, this new system could foster the “anyone can go viral” phenomenon on Instagram, which TikTok and its algorithms have dominated. In retrospect, this could potentially help Instagram lure in more US TikTok users who have been caught off guard by the TikTok ban possibly coming into effect in early 2025.

Instagram’s new algorithm changes will roll out over the next few months.

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