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How Instagram’s Algorithm Update is Aiming to Reward Original Content

Jourdan Aldredge

May 21, 2024

Instagram has announced that it’s rolling out a massive overhaul to its algorithm that promises to help creators find new audiences. Understanding Instagram’s algorithm update involves becoming aware of major changes to boost smaller creators and remove content aggregators from recommendations.

This is big news for any content creators or marketers looking to capitalize on Instagram’s huge audience and growth potential. And, for savvy creators, this could signal that now might be a good time to launch (or at least re-engage) an Instagram account for your brand.

Let’s take a deeper look at this new Instagram algorithm update and explore how content creators of all types might benefit from this major update and its various changes to how Instagram displays content.

More chances for newer creators to break through

If you’re someone who’s been on the fence about either starting an Instagram channel yourself or perhaps doubling down on growing your brand on the social platform, then now might be a good time to get into the game

The biggest news here is that Instagram is going to make it easier for your content to reach new audiences. Instagram notes that previously, reels were ranked primarily based on how an account’s followers engaged with them, which meant that accounts with the largest followings were often the ones to see the most reach.

However, this new update will implement new rank recommendations to give all creators an equal chance of breaking through. With this new process, every piece of eligible content will be shown to a small audience that Instagram thinks will enjoy it. Top-performing reels will then be further boosted to a wider audience, and so on based on engagement with these segments.

More rewards for original content

Another aspect of their algorithm that Instagram is changing up isn’t just in how it puts content in front of audiences but also in how it credits and distributes the content—which is big news for content protection and originality.

With this new update, if Instagram finds two or more identical pieces of content, it will only recommend the original one. This means that original content will directly replace any reposted versions in recommendations, and it is being done to help protect creators from having their content copied.

However, Instagram notes that it will still allow creators to parody others' content and that users can still get recommendations as long as the parody does not replace the original content.

Instagram is also going to add new labels to content that they’ve deemed to have been reposts of original content, which will further add a link back to the original creators. If either the original creator or the account reposting content wants to remove a label, they can tap the three-dot menu on a piece of content.

Aggregators are going to be nerfed

The other big takeaway from Instagram’s update is that they’re going to be nerfing (or, if you don’t know video game speak, they’re going to be greatly reducing the impact of) aggregators. Aggregators are accounts that don’t create their own content but repost or reshare content from others.

Like many social media platforms, Instagram has had issues with these aggregators in the past as they’ve often rewarded these accounts over original creators simply because they have larger numbers of followers.

Instagram reports that in the coming months, accounts that repeatedly post content from other Instagram users that they didn’t create or enhance materially will not be shown in the surfaces where Instagram recommends content to viewers.

This is great news for content creators who have been burned by aggregator accounts in the past. It is one of the more substantive steps any content-sharing platform has taken to curtail this practice.

Tips for Instagram content creators

Person holding a smartphone, understanding Instagram’s algorithm updates

At the end of the day, while all these updates from Instagram promise to make the platform better for smaller and more organic content creators, the hard fact remains that Instagram (like many of the other hyper-popular social video-sharing apps) has gotten too big to govern easily.

There will also be duplicators and aggregators out there looking to effectively steal content from original creators and use them for their own benefit. Instagram is taking solid steps to curtail this, but these nefarious practices will undoubtedly adjust and find new ways to operate.

Still, as a content creator, you can take the following steps to ensure that your content is protected and in the best position possible to find success on Instagram.

The crux of each of these tips is to focus on creating the best content possible that’s true to you and your brand. Instagram wants you to successfully find your niche and build your audience.

If you can block out the distractions and focus on yourself and your content, you’ll be in the best position to grow your brand and build a following that you can eventually take wherever you want.

Also, if you want to learn how to use royalty free music for Instagram (or royalty free sound effects for Instagram) to take your videos to that next level, that will always help too.