Instagram’s Ranking Algorithm Is Shifting To Focus On Original Content: What That Means For Your Business

Published On: April 15th, 2022Categories: Social MediaBy

Instagram’s Ranking Algorithm Is Shifting To Focus On Original Content: What That Means For Your Business 

Instagram’s chief, Adam Mosseri, recently announced that the platform is changing how it ranks content, prioritizing original content. 

According to Mosseri:

“If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something that you found from someone else. [As such] we’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

So what does that mean for your brand? Does this update mean if you share content from other platforms, you will cop a reach penalty on the app? Additionally, does this also mean that if a larger account re-posts your original content, you could be penalized as a result? The answer is complex, and Instagram is not confident that the platform will be able to get it right. 

On Twitter, Mosseri answered users’ burning questions, outlined below.


Content that is edited outside of Instagram and then uploaded to the app, won’t be penalized under this change.

Mosseri stated that “the idea is if you made it, it’s original. It’s okay if you edited it outside of Instagram and then bring it in via the gallery.” Last year, Instagram declared that content re-shared from other platforms, which included visible watermarks, would be downranked. Think: Instagram users re-posting TikTok content to Reels for additional engagement. Any content with logos or watermarks will still be penalized under that policy, specifically in Reels.


Your posting history is factored in.

For this update, content curators are the main focus. This means, that if you are re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you will see your reach decline. For this point, think about meme accounts. Posting viral memes has been an easy way for people to boost their engagement, but it seems that this will no longer be the case. 


Additionally, Mosseri said that Instagram will not be able to know for sure if the content is original or not. He stated: 

“We build classifiers to predict how likely something is to be original, but that’s not knowing. We look at things like who’s in the video, and if we’ve seen the video before.”

Therefore,  if you are posting content from other places, there will be different people in all of your posts, which could tip off Instagram’s algorithm. The algorithm will also start looking for duplicated posts. 


This brings up another question – how will the platform know which account is the originator and which is the duplicator?  When each post was shared could be a factor, but the platform states that “if it’s someone pretending to be the original creator, which is less likely but could happen, it’ll be hard for us to know.”


Nothing is perfect, so we anticipate that some creators and brands will suffer unearned penalties because of these changes. However, Instagram will continue to monitor the system and evolve its detection process over time. 


This update could have a big impact on the platform, as there are countless aggregator accounts on the app. Right now, it is too early to tell, but we are curious to see how this update impacts creators. 


For brands, the main downside of this change is regarding UGC. Could Instagram come down on businesses for re-sharing content from customers since the brand post will not be the original? As you know, user-generated content is one of the most important types of content for brands, as it highlights real consumers’ opinions. 


We will have to wait and see how the update plays out and adjust our social media strategies if needed. 


Are you well versed in all of the latest Instagram updates? Get in Touch to get started. We would love to help your business stay on top of the latest trends and thrive on social media. 


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