How to Stay Visible with the Latest Instagram Algorithm Updates

Instagram has updated their algorithm again but this time, it is a game changer for many users.

With promises of reduced visibility of up to 90% of your followers, not paying attention to these changes could mean a significant difference in how your brand performs online. For individual users building their personal brand, it could mean the end of the road (sorry, Instagram models). As a brand, if you don’t note the changes and how it will impact you, you’ll soon be forgotten by the masses.

As Instagram shifts their focus, it is essential for its users to shift theirs as well.

For this reason, we took a deep dive into how exactly the algorithm was changed, what this means for your business and what you can do to maintain your visibility on Instagram.

Note: Many of these updates come as a major blow to frequent users. But remember, it’s only to ensure Instagram remains an app that people enjoy using, free from troll accounts and spammers. 

Meltwater Africa Blog - Latest Instagram Algorithm Updates

Unleash the 90%

Instagram will now only show your content to 10% of your audience. Not just any 10%, but the 10% that are most engaged with your content. In other words, if you have one hundred followers, your top 10 most engaged followers will see your content in their feed.

Top Tip: By engagement, we mean likes (minor engagement) or comments (more engagement). An impression is eyes on your content or views – so people who scrolled past your content but didn’t like or comment. 

Essentially, how to get your content seen on Instagram is by getting likes and comments. If your 10% of most engaged followers like and comment on your posts, it will be “unleashed” to the other 90%. Just like the “snowball effect,” the more engagements you have, the more you’ll get. Consequently, if your followers are simply scrolling past your content and not interacting, Instagram won’t care – your followers need to engage. This will become very important when planning your social media marketing strategy – how striking are your posts, and are you asking questions in your captions?

Quick Response Time

You need to reply to the comments you receive on your posts within one hour. Lack of response or slow response time will lead to decreased visibility of your posts and of your hashtags. Engagement stems further than just receiving comments – get into the habit of replying to them in under sixty minutes, too.

Essentially, the more engagement you have, the more relevant your post will be on the platform. And as engagement increases, so does the visibility of your post.

Meltwater Blog Post on latest Instagram algorithm changes - Quick response time

Length of Engagement

Just a quick reply won’t count anymore.

Even if you’re trying to get all your replies to comments posted in less than an hour, responses will only count from now on if they’re longer than three words. Instagram wants both comments and replies to comments to be substantial – so commenting just an emoji or “I love it” won’t count towards your engagement anymore.

Your followers will have to comment four words or more to ensure your visibility doesn’t decrease.

Hashtag Overload

Instagram used to cap hashtags at 30 per post. This led to mass hashtagging and some pretty ugly captions. Then users discovered that you can break the lines with full stops and add the hashtags under the “Read More” line break in the caption. But that didn’t look great either. Until recently, accounts have been adding their hashtags to the first comment, separate to the caption – and this worked well, posts were still seen. Until now.

Instagram does not count hashtags in your comments as engagement anymore. Plus, you’re only allowed to add five per caption.

This. Changes. Everything.

It’s now critical to make sure your hashtags are super-specific and relevant to each post.

New Instagram Algorithm Updates - Hashtags

Stories to Carry More Weight

All these algorithm updates make it seem as though Instagram is simply making it more difficult for anyone to be seen. But this one is an update that has us all breathing a communal sigh of relief, and is here to increase, instead of decrease, our visibility on Instagram.

Stories are going to carry more weight in terms of engagement, as Instagram recognises Stories as gaining organic reach and growth. The algorithm likes people that connect with other people, and Instagram has realised that if you’re using Instagram Stories, this is probably your primary objective.

Make the most of this by jumping onto Instagram Stories immediately, if you aren’t already making use of it.

Meltwater Blog - Instagram Stories

No More Edits

Making edits to your post once it’s gone live, is now the wrong thing to do.

The new algorithm will perceive any edits as negative, which will lead them to give your post decreased visibility. If you make a mistake in any part of your post, whether the image, video or caption, it is better to just delete the post, and republish the new content to your page again.

Still struggling to make sense of it all? Join the conversation on Twitter @Meltwater. For more information on how media intelligence can help inform your marketing strategy and ensure you stay on top of the trends, contact the Meltwater team today.

Bonus Tip: You can now schedule posts directly to Instagram, as well as all your other social media networks, with Meltwater Engage – learn more here

Media Monitoring Companies in India: How to Put Public Data to Work

Media Monitoring companies in India, like Meltwater, help organizations understand the conversations taking place around their brands, their competitors and their industry. Today, media monitoring has come a long way since the basic news clipping services of the past. Meltwater’s own proprietary software for example, relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning to mine and make sense of billions of online data sources, so executives and communications teams can make more informed corporate decisions. So, what are some of the use cases for media monitoring in India? you may ask. Let’s take a look.

Showcasing a Return on Investment from Marketing and PR

Marketeers and PR professionals work tirelessly to generate earned media exposure, social media engagement and ultimately, greater business interest from prospective customers. The problem however, is that tying the outcomes of communications campaigns with a company’s bottom line objectives can often be a challenge. Advanced media monitoring tools allow companies in India, and across the world, to not only have a detailed record of the online response to a particular campaign or press release, but the ability to then start connecting the dots between the multitude of branded touchpoints and actual bottom line KPIs.

As a basic example, imagine being able to track the website traffic generated from a particular online press release. With this information, it would be possible for you to explore a potential corresponding rise in website leads over the same period of time. This in turn, would allow you to track actual sales generated from a single PR campaign and thereby report the kind of ROI that directors and C-suite care about. As marketing ROI attribution models become increasingly complex, so the need for accurate PR measurement will continue to grow.

Further to this, your marketing and PR efforts don’t occur in a vacuum. While you may think your quarterly PR strategy was a smash success, the reality is that it’s only when we benchmark our results against competitors do we get an accurate understanding of whose share of voice was dominant (and by extension, who reached the most potential customers).

Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management India

The world today is not as it was twenty, or even ten years ago. The rapid development of technology alongside the mass proliferation of mobile phone devices has seen a decentralisation of news publishing power. Today, anyone with an internet connection can shape public opinion about your brand, and what’s worse is that the news they share doesn’t even have to be true for it to impact on your share price or client count.

Before we look at the management of a brand, let’s first define what a PR crisis is.

Quite simply, a real PR crisis is a negative story about your brand that has gained momentum and threatens the reputation of your business.

Crises are an inevitable consequence of being in business over the long term, what is optional however, is whether your company chooses to prepare for them or not. Businesses that don’t acknowledge the importance of reputation (and how to preserve it) all too often find themselves scrambling to undo the damage of an unforeseen brand slip-up – and in most cases this is simply a matter of too little too late. Further to this, the commercial ramifications of their lack of preparation tend to linger long past their time spent in the spotlight.

Managing Online Reputation

Forward thinking brands are putting in place crisis communications strategies as a proactive step toward safeguarding their most valuable intangible asset. At the cornerstone of these blueprints is almost always a comprehensive offline and online media monitoring tool, and when your reputation is at stake, it’s important you choose wisely.

Statistical analysis of ten corporate crises in South Africa found that the greater the speed and number of positive steps taken in the two weeks after a crisis, the less the company share price fell (Coldwell and Joosub, 2011). With this in mind, be sure to opt for a service or tool that allows for access to data in “real-time”, or as it happens; response time is paramount when mitigating the spread of a crisis.

By investing in online reputation management, an organization improves its ability to protect shareholder value, corporate viability and long term potential, often becoming more adaptive and agile as a result. In short, it improves its business resilience.

Identify New Markets and Customers

Media Monitoring to find new business

In the age of social media, market research is less about surveys, and more about listening to actual conversations happening across your field or industry. Media monitoring companies in India allow local brands to gain insight into the readiness of other geographic markets for their product or service. The benefit here is two-fold: 1) You don’t have to coerce people into filling out lengthy surveys, and 2) natural conversations are less likely to be biased.

In the global economy, many products and services need not be limited to the physical location or country of your premises. With the aid of a high-end media monitoring tool you can identify prospective customers in places you’d never thought to look.

Improve Customer Experience

Media Monitoring improve customer experience India

Customer experience (CX) has been said to be “the next competitive battleground”. Gone are the days where price point dominated patterns in consumer decision making. Companies are now obliged to deliver a memorable end-to-end customer journey or face being ditched for those who can. A recent Oracle survey predicted a fall of up to 20% in annual revenues for brands that don’t offer a rewarding CX.

From Mumbai, Kolkata to New Delhi, companies in India that harness the power of social media listening tools can glean instant feedback on not only their brand touchpoints, but how those link together to provide an overall experience. Putting in place structures to recycle this feedback can help business become more agile in their response to changes in customer preference, ensuring that systems evolve to maximise overall user satisfaction over time.


In an increasingly connected society, media monitoring services offer companies the chance to make sense of a world drowning in data. If you’re serious about making more informed corporate decisions using external information, then contact the Meltwater India team and learn how Outside Insight can give you a competitive advantage.