Instagram changed its algorithm AGAIN.
Are we surprised? No.
BUT, if you want to continue seeing success on the platform and get your brand where it needs to be, you need to know about these updates.
So today, we’re covering the new Instagram algorithm updates 2022 in this post.
Some of you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, I thought Instagram brought the chronological feed back, didn’t that fix all of our algorithm problems??”
It helped, probably yes…but did it magically fix everything? No.
The reality is Instagram, and all social media platforms, are always going to be evolving, updating, and changing.
So instead of waiting for them to permanently fix the algorithm, it’s better to have the mindset of embracing those changes and adapting along with them.
Now, don’t get us wrong, the Instagram chronological feed update was a MAJOR update.
And it does give users the option to view their feed that way if they want to, but it’s not the default setting.
Users have to manually tap to view their feed that way every time they log on.
So in order to get in front of the portion of your target audience that isn’t using the chronological feed…
…you need to adapt your strategy to account for the new Instagram algorithm updates as they occur.
Instagram Algorithm Updates 2022
We’ve known for a while now that Reels have been the preferred media type on Instagram by users, and therefore by Instagram as well.
Instagram will organically support the media format that is generating the highest engagement on their platform…
…and keeping users on their platform the longest.
So naturally, Instagram has been favoring Reels and giving small business accounts that post Reels a lot of reach.
Reach that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise just posting regular images or videos.
But Instagram Reels have been around for almost 2 years now since they first launched! They’re not BRAND new anymore.
So Instagram is starting to look at more than just if you’re posting Reels or not.
The algorithm is starting to take into account how your Reels are performing in terms of these 3 metrics:
- Watch time
- AVD or Average View Duration.
Views are the total number of views your Reel receives and this metric is displayed publicly next to the play button.
Watch time is the amount of time someone spends watching your Reel, aka how far did they make it through your Reel without scrolling.
You want to aim for 100% watch time here.
And then AVD is the total watch time on a Reel divided by the total number of video plays, including replays.
Your AVD is important because looking at the other two metrics alone won’t really show you if your Reels are successful or not.
For example, your watch time may be 100%, but that’s not really that big of a deal if you’ve only got 2 views.
And vice versa, if you have 10,000 views, but nobody is watching past 4 seconds on a 30-second Reel, that’s not good either.
So your AVD accounts for how many views your Reel has, and out of those views what the watch time is to get your average view duration.
Instagram pays attention to your AVD, and so should you.
In order to get a strong AVD, you need your Reels to accumulate a lot of views, and you need the people giving you those views to watch all the way through.
So how do you do that? Here’s how.
3 Tips To Boost Your AVD With The New Instagram Algorithm Updates
Tip #1: Hook people with your intro.
Make your intro as engaging and captivating as you possibly can within the first couple of seconds.
The rest of your video won’t matter if your intro doesn’t get people to watch it, to begin with.
If you take a long time to get to the point of the video, people are going to scroll right past.
So get creative, and check out what other successful creators and businesses are doing with their Reels and TikToks…
…and then figure out what you can do to get people’s attention immediately. Check out this post next to discover some TikTok ideas for business.
Tip #2: Make your videos shorter, not longer.
Just because Reels can be 60 seconds long doesn’t mean YOUR Reels need to be 60 seconds long.
We’ve found that 15 seconds or less tends to be the sweet spot for most smaller businesses starting out – 30 seconds max.
But it’s easier to get 100% watch time if your videos are shorter. So see what you can do to condense your message while still getting the point across.
Tip #3: Aim to get loops.
Beyond just getting views, you want to aim to get loops.
Because remember, calculating your AVD includes the total number of video plays, including replays.
One great way to get loops is to create a super engaging intro that points to the caption.
And then you want to make the caption super long.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer trying to obtain clients.
You could make a Reel that goes something like:
“This client went from this (a before picture) to THIS (an after picture) after making 1 small change in their routine. Read the caption to find out what it was.”
This will make people want to read your caption to figure out what the secret is.
So you’ll want to make your caption a little lengthy so that while they’re reading, your video is playing and looping in the background.
This will not only give you 100% watch time but give you more views too.
Now, we’re going to move on from Reels because there’s one more algorithm update we want to get to.
And if for whatever reason you’re just not ready to get started with Reels yet or if it’s a bit more than you have the capacity for at the moment…
…you’re going to want to read on for this next update.
Bonus Instagram Algorithm Updates
Instagram is testing out a new full-screen format that occupies more of your screen.
They said, “Your Instagram feed will become full-screen (9:16 ratio) when you open the app, and we’ll work to bring video more front and center.”
So we’re used to seeing Reels in this tall, vertical format.
But currently, if you run into a Reel on your home feed, you have to tap it to expand it to the full 9:16 ratio.
This update means it will already be full-sized in your home feed as you’re scrolling.
And they will do the same for images!
They said, “Photos will have auto-generated gradients to match the images. And we’re thinking about options for Feed post formatting in the future.”
So while we would strongly encourage that you base your Instagram marketing strategy around Reels…
…if for whatever reason you have to stick with static images right now, make sure you’re posting vertical images to account for this format.
Because remember, whenever Instagram releases a new feature…
…they push that feature to get enough data and feedback on it to make a sound judgment call on whether it’s working well or not.
So if you use the feature early on, you’re likely to get an extra organic push from Instagram’s algorithm.
Plus, posting vertical content means you’re taking up more real estate on the viewer’s screen.
Thus, giving your target audience more time to be exposed to your brand.
So we’re curious, have you seen this test in your own personal Instagram scrolling yet?
Otherwise, that wraps up everything we had for you today about the new Instagram algorithm updates!
Head over to our Instagram marketing services page today if you need help in promoting your brand on this platform.