June 2023 Instagram Algorithm Updates
If you’ve felt like Instagram algorithm updates have come fast and furious in the past six months – you aren’t wrong and you aren’t alone.
The many changes and frequent algorithm updates have made it hard for content creators, business owners, and users to keep up. Luckily, it seems Instagram has narrowed down its focus and filtered out a lot of flaws that impacted previous updates. Their latest round of algorithm updates has upset many creators. This is because there is a long list of things Instagram wants creators to do, but they are no longer paying creators through their bonus incentive. Overall, this means more work and less pay.
Before we hop into 2023 Instagram algorithm updates, let’s look at where this timeline began in 2022:
Instagram Algorithm Updates
Posting for Engagement vs. Posting for Growth
One major thing has taken place recently that may want you to reconsider how you utilize the features on Instagram. In 2022, there is no longer a ‘one formula fits all’ mentality. You need to utilize Instagram differently based on your overall goals. These are broken down into two main categories:
Although it seems everyone is chatting about Instagram reels in 2022, if you are posting for engagement, the newest Instagram algorithm update favors posting static images to boost your numbers. If you already have a following but your engagement numbers are lower than they once were, focus first on images posts, then on reels, then on stories.
On the opposite side, if you are looking to increase followers and grow your account, you need to put a lot of effort behind reels. Reels have the strongest possibility of going ‘viral’ and one video can garner hundreds or thousands of new followers. And don’t be disappointed if your reel doesn’t take off right away – Instagram’s algorithm now works a lot like TikTok. Your post can start gaining traction and likes days, or even a week after you originally posted it.
Instagram Reels Updates
One of the most controversial things Instagram has announced in recent weeks is that they are taking away Reels Bonus for creators. This announcement was met with a lot of backlash, as many creators used the Reels Bonus initiative as an incentive to post frequently.
What Were Reels Bonuses?
Reels Bonuses were available for creators that had over 10,000 followers. Instagram would pay those creators, based on views, up to $1800. This means if a post went viral, it made it very easy to monetize content.
In the Spring of 2023, Instagram announced a wide range of changes to the platform, which included the removal of the bonus. In addition, the new features required a lot more from creators in order to get higher engagement on the platform.
Instagram Algorithm Updates (May 2023)
In order to grow and get the most engagement on Instagram in 2023, follow these rules
- Only use three hashtags per post. In one of the biggest updates to Instagram in 2023, the platform no longer wants users to use 8-15 hashtags and instead favors posts with 3-5. Instead, it wants users to use keywords in their captions that relate to the video. The AI will read the caption and show users who are engaged with similar content. The longer the hashtag with more keywords, the better chance to end up on the explore page for related topics.
- Edit all videos in the app. Do not edit reels in Capcut or import them over from TikTok. TikTok owns Capcut, and the AI is able to see where the video was edited. If you import a video from TikTok with the watermark, chances are the reel will not perform well. The in-app editing for Instagram has many flaws, which means requiring users to edit directly in the app for the most engagement is frustrating for many.
- Post every day. Five years ago, Instagram favored accounts that were posted every day. Then, it began favoring quality content over quantity. In 2023, the Instagram algorithm has backtracked, and the algorithm will now favor accounts that post daily. This is again why users are made, because posting daily means more work without pay incentives.
- Post 5-6 times stories daily. Too many stories are considered spammy, and not enough means that you aren’t engaged enough with the platform. Shoot for 2-5 stories a day.
- Avoid posting square or landscape videos. This update is nothing new, but in order to excel with Instagram reels, the shooting style should always be portrait (9×16).
- ALWAYS reply to comments. If you get a comment on your video, like the comment AND reply to it. You should reply to every comment on your post if possible. If you get a lot of comments on every post, try to reply to as many as possible in the first hour after posting
Saving posts is a valuable but under-utilized feature. Underneath each photo on your feed, you’ll see a bookmark icon. Hit that icon to save a post, then press “Save to Collection” to add it to a folder. In 2023, the Instagram algorithm is pushing users to take advantage of the saved post feature, especially by creating folders and sorting videos by topics. All users have a general saved area, but folders can also be built out; for example, ‘travel,’ ‘recipes,’ or ‘DIY’ might be three folder categories to sort your saved posts & videos into.
Getting a large number of “saves” has two benefits for you. The most obvious benefit is that your followers won’t just like your picture and forget about it–they’ll see it again when they check your saved photos. Instagram moves quickly, so this keeps your posts from getting lost in the feed. But many people don’t realize that Instagram also counts the number of saves. This number isn’t public, but posts with more saves are more likely to appear in your followers’ feeds.
To see how many saves you’ve earned, press “Insights” on your profile, then scroll down to “Content You Shared” and hit the arrow to the right. Choose “Saves” from the drop-down box at the top. You’ll see the posts with the most saves at the top. If you see posts with many saves, you’ll know that you need to start sharing similar content. You can also filter your search by “Likes,” “Impressions,” and other valuable stats.
Even if Instagram doesn’t hide the number of likes, a save is as valuable as a like–if not more so. Start encouraging your followers to save your posts to their collections.
Meet Shalee | Instagram Algorithm Expert at Send it Rising
Hi, I’m Shalee! And thanks for reading this article. I’ve been studying the Instagram algorithm for over 5 years and I share our biggest tips and tricks to help other brands and creators grow on the platform. Instagram is the hardest social media platform to learn, and I’ve made all the mistakes to ensure others don’t have to! If you have questions about Instagram algorithm updates or are interested in joining one of our free social media sessions, you can email me directly at [email protected].