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Instagram has recently updated an algorithm which changes the way posts are displayed in the news feed of account holders, and brands are seriously worried. The Instagram update is designed to show users what they want to see based on their interests determined by the algorithm, instead of the chronological view of those, users currently follow.
The hype surrounding this update has sent brands into meltdown as they quickly usher users to turn on push notifications in a mad rush to secure their audience.
So if you’re a business that currently uses Instagram to promote products and services, what should you do?
Well it’s not overly clear if this is a testing phase or whether this rollout is long term, with Instagram tweeting on March 28th 2016 that they’ll keep users in the loop when changes happen broadly.
So if it’s not clear whether this update is here to stay, what’s the best option for businesses in the short term?
Honestly, we’re not exactly sure what businesses should do, however here are a few pros and cons of push notifications in the immediate future.
Pros of turning on Instagram’s push notifications
If businesses turn on push notifications, users will receive updates through the app every time brands post to their account. This means users will be kept updated with every post as they happen. Sounds great, however let’s think this through.
Cons of urging users to turn on Instagram push notifications
If all businesses urge their users to turn on push notifications then users who follow active brands will end up with hundreds of notifications by lunch time!
Users will end up with so many prompts to view posts that they’re likely to be overwhelmed and ignore the notifications altogether – missing the important information businesses are trying to communicate. This could have a worse effect as users could disengage from accounts they once double tapped, shared and commented on.
Businesses are going to have to get creative with their posts and provide some serious cut-through if they’re planning on playing the long game. In the short term all brands are likely to lose some engagement as Instagram figures out what works and what doesn’t!
What’s the user’s initial response to Instagram’s news feed update?
Are they happy? No, not really. Users have indicated that they don’t want to be hassled by brands every time they post. Honestly, it seems they were happy with the ways things were.
Some users even indicated that if they wanted to view most popular items that they’d use other social media channels, like Instagram’s parent company Facebook! With all the change that’s due to happen on Instagram in 2016 we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out whether the algorithm update will have a long term effect on the news feed or not.