Another day, another announcement of a social media algorithm update. Sigh—it seems like just when you finally have things figured out, a new tweak or update swoops in and switches things up.

Such is the case with Instagram, who recently announced that they were making some changes to give users “more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.”

Don’t start tearing your hair out quite yet. We know that these seemingly endless algorithm shifts can be frustrating. But, in many cases, they can also mean great things for your brand’s social presence.

So, before you start huffing and puffing into a paper bag at the mention of yet another change, let’s dig into what we know so far about Instagram’s recently announced algorithm update—and what it means for your brand’s Instagram account.

Wait… What’s Behind These New Algorithm Updates?

It’s tempting to think that social networks make these frequent algorithm shifts just to make your life difficult. But, there’s usually deeper roots to those changes.

In this case in particular, as The New York Times mentions, Instagram is making changes in response to user feedback and is aiming to address some frequent complaints that they hear from users, including:

  • Automatically being bounced to the top of their feeds
  • Seeing the same posts in their feeds for days and days

Rest assured that these changes aren’t just arbitrary. They’re introduced in an effort to make Instagram more user-friendly for everybody—including you!

So, what changes are happening? There are two that you should be aware of.

new algorithm

Change #1: Users Won’t Get Flung to the Top of Their Feeds Anymore

Social media users often aren’t shy about airing their grievances. And, chances are, you’ve had this same complaint when perusing your own Instagram feed: You’d be in the middle of scrolling, and then automatically be bounced back to the top of your feed without warning.

It’s annoying right? So, Instagram decided to do something to address it.

“We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top,” Instagram said in their release about the update.

As a result, the first piece of the puzzle in Instagram’s recent updates is the testing of a “New Posts” button. This button will give users the option to decide when they want to refresh their feeds—rather than being brought back to the top of their feeds without warning.

When it seems that social media platforms make so many decisions about what users want to see and when they want to see it, this button is a simple way to give users a little more control over their own feeds.

Change #2: Newer Posts Are More Likely to Appear First

The other thing you should know? Instagram is updating its algorithm so that newer posts will be more likely to appear toward the top of the feed.

No, this doesn’t mean that the platform is returning to a strictly chronological feed. However, Instagram is attempting to strike a balance so that you see newer posts—but also images from the people and accounts you’ve been known to engage with.

“With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about,” Instagram said in the release, “So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.”

What Does This All Mean For You?

That’s it—those are the two major things you can expect to see change on Instagram. So, what exactly does this mean for your brand’s own Instagram presence?

Well, one major thing: With the introduction of a more timely feed, the times you post on Instagram will carry more weight.

With Instagram’s 2016 announcement that the feed would be completely sorted using an algorithm that assessed what you would deem the “best” photos in your feed, timing carried far less importance.

But, now that newer posts are more likely to bubble to the top of user’s feeds, timing is something that you need to be concerned with again.

Our best advice: Begin diving into your Instagram analytics to see at what times your audience is most engaged with your content, and then develop a plan to post at those specific times.