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3 Things Brands Should Know About Instagram’s New Chronological Feed

[BREAKING NEWS] Instagram has brought back the option to view feeds chronologically, with two new separate feeds for users — ‘Following’ and ‘Favourites’, on top of your default ‘Home Feed’. 

‘Following’ shows you posts from the people you follow in chronological order, so you can quickly catch up on recent posts. ‘Favourites’ shows you the latest from accounts that you add to a list, and posts from accounts in your Favourites will show up higher in your Home Feed.

While it might seem like there are more options for the end-users and trouble for brands, the impact might not be so direct. Read on!

Image credit: Instagram

Here are 3 key takeaways for brands: 

1. There will be more ads in the ‘Home Feed’

In the same press release by Meta following the announcement, it also noted that the existing revenue-driving algorithm-based feed is set to include ”more recommendations to your feed based on your interests” — i.e. more ads — which is both a blessing and curse for brands. The increased competition for attention that comes from added content can lessen the impact of ads on the platform.

What does this mean for brands?

The ‘Following’ and ‘Favourite’ feeds are optional and require an extra step for users to switch to them. If people don’t choose them, then the default experience will remain a ranked feed. Ultimately, creating high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience will win out when it comes to gaining audience attention. Ride on trends, refine your content and revisit your learnings. 

2. Timing is key

If users start to adopt the behaviour of browsing Instagram in the chronological feed and move away from their Home Feed, they will be seeing the most recent content and not what’s served to them. Timing, in this scenario, is going to be everything. 

What does this mean for brands?

Brands will have to be more cognisant about who their target audience is and find out when are the key moments that they will be looking at Instagram. Pick the right day and time that is more relevant for your consumers. Is it during their morning commute to work? During their lunch break? Or in the middle of the day to take their mind off work? For global brands, you should also take into account the time zone where your consumers are.

3. A new call-to-action

The Favourites Feed may have more importance than what we think. According to Meta, posts from accounts in your Favourites will show up higher in your home feed. For your brand’s most loyal followers, they will likely add you to their Favourites Feed. But what if they don’t? 

What does this mean for brands?

Brands will need to find ways to get consumers online to ‘Favourite’ them. On top of creating engagement and getting people to follow your account, you may need to start getting them to ‘Favourite’ you. Consider creating content specifically for this purpose or incorporating the call-to-action in your brand’s existing content. While it is not guaranteed that your audience will do exactly what you tell them, it is definitely worth a shot.

Keen to win on social media for your brand? Write to us at info@wild.sg

Glenn Ho
Associate Account Director