Instagram recently replaced the current chronological feed with an algorithm that orders the posts based on your interests and relationships. This means your Instagram feed is now constantly evolving based on your user activity. For nonprofit organizations using Instagram, this can be a good and not-so-good thing. This new update is meant to increase the overall engagement of the app’s users (good). But for nonprofits who are trying to build their Instagram presence and don’t have much activity, likes or followers, this means the new algorithm might push their content to the bottom of someone’s feed (not so good).

One might say they didn’t notice anything wrong with their feed so why change it? Well, you actually don’t notice more than you think. The co-founder Kevin Systrom says, “On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed.” In an interview with the New York Times, he explained that the new Instagram algorithm, “Is about making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.” Facebook and Twitter did the same thing awhile back and it was inevitable that Instagram would follow their lead, or should I say feed? Either way this means your Instagram feed will be filtered to make users see ‘the most important’ things to them. You might not notice it now, but things will start to slowly change.

Here is what you need to know about Instagram’s new algorithm:

  • This is great for content creators who already are very active and engaged
  • Can be worrisome for developing accounts with little user engagement
  • As the feed stands now, brands and users have an even playing field on Instagram with the new algorithm
  • When you open the app, instead of showing you posts from the last few minutes first, you will now see the most important posts since the last time you opened the app
  • More engaged users equals more time spent on the app and more people engaging with photos and videos

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Nonprofits are constantly looking ways to engage people. Whether it’s to connect with someone who is participating in their event, to educate someone affected by the cause or even to thank a donor who supports their mission. The possibilities for engagement are endless, but your Instagram feed is not. If your organization is already very active and has hundreds of followers you won’t need to do much to get anyone to see your content. But if you are just starting to build your org’s Instagram presence, now is the time to share, like, view and follow. Just remember to keep your mission in mind and make every post count!

Check out this article for more on how to survive Instagram’s algorithm update.