How Does Instagram’s Reaction to Users’ Complaints Impact the Future of Business & Digital Marketing?

Instagram revealed its plans to roll out a new algorithm that would show posts in order of relevance as opposed to chronological order. The change is not happening right now, as many users have mistakenly believed. Instagram says they are listening to the concerns of their users, in particular, small businesses.

Many small businesses rely on Instagram and other social media sites as a source of free advertisement. Unlike Facebook, small businesses in particular tend to prefer Instagram’s use of the chronological feed. People have grown accustomed to the chronological feed and many businesses strategically time their posts to align with peak traffic times. Although it may be expected that most active Instagram users scroll through their entire feed from top to bottom, even with the chronological model some posts are still missed.


A social media algorithm was first introduced in 2009 by Facebook. It is a complex code, but instead of determining search results, it measures social activity. If a user interacts with a profile regularly, the algorithm will determine which users are more relevant than others.

According to Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom, users miss about 70 percent of posts on their Instagram feed on average. In regards to the algorithm, Systrom said, “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.” This means that even if you think that your business is doing pretty well getting the word out on Instagram, it could always be doing better.  

Instagram said that the change would not be jarring to users. Unlike Facebook, it is centered almost entirely around photos and Instagram plans to transition slowly by relying on small user group testing and machine-learning technology. After these tests, they will decide how and if they will introduce broad changes.


Should you ask followers to turn on their notifications?

Many users have asked their followers to turn on their notifications. Although this may help to ensure posts are seen, as it is an interaction, this may get annoying for your followers as it would mean they would get a notification every time a new photo is posted. This might inadvertently cause users to have negative mental associations with your business if they recall being overwhelmed by notifications.

No matter how useful a tool social media has been for business, you can never guarantee that 100 percent of your posts will be seen by your target demographic.


It is important to remember that Instagram is not Facebook. While Facebook differentiates business pages from individuals, which may or may not unfairly affect small business advertisements, Instagram does not. At least not yet.