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How Your Business Can Benefit From Instagram’s New Algorithm

By February 8, 2018January 16th, 2023No Comments

Instagram’s new algorithm can be seen as an opportunity to better engage with your audience, making long-lasting, valuable connections.

It is no surprise that Instagram added, yet another, nearly unsolvable puzzle of an algorithm. Keeping up with the globally-renowned social media platform may seem harder than ever, as many changes are no longer announced on Instagram’s blog, but are rather hidden amongst various files in the Help Center. With new change comes a new learning curve, and since Instagram is a preferred social media forum for many, it is important to educate on how businesses can best utilize these new features.

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While many see Instagram’s new algorithm as a threat, we chose to highlight the opportunities hidden in the rough. The Pigeon Letters’ article, New Instagram Algorithm Changes in January 2018,” investigates some of the most recent changes, along with the adaptations you can make to increase your exposure and get ahead of the game. We’ve listed the most important takeaways for business accounts.

*Note: the contents of this article is mostly speculation. We cannot vouch for validity.*

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Post Exposure

  • When you post something on Instagram, it may only be exposed to 10% of your following. Instagram gauges activity, so if your new post gets engagement right away, it will then be released to the remaining 90% of your audience.
  • If you’re promoting your business via Instagram, switch over to Instagram’s business account setting. A business account allows you to check stats such as impressions and profile views, which can be helpful to learn about your audience.


  • Instagram wants to see YOU engaging with your own posts. To secure your post’s visibility, respond to comments left on your posts within 60 minutes. 
  • Make your engagement count by commenting with four words or more. 
  • Instagram stories help you pop up more, so be sure to utilize this fun feature. The stories that are shown first are the accounts that you engage with the most, so give people a reason to see you first! 


  • Do NOT edit your caption for 24 hours after posting. This will significantly lower your chances for it to be seen.
  • Do NOT delete your post and repost it. Same reason above.


  • Although you can use up to 30 hashtags in a post, this can now be picked up as spam. To play it safe, limit your post to five unique hashtags. 
  • Don’t reuse the same hashtags over and over! Switch up your hashtags otherwise, again, it will be considered spam and will be removed.
  • Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results. You must now include hashtags in the body of your caption.
  • Choose hashtags that have high search results, but not so many that your post will get buried amongst all other posts with #love. Check out Socialbakers’ Ultimate Guide to Hashtags.
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New Features

  • The Explore Feed is a collection of posts from people you do and do not follow. It’s shown to you based off your interests that Instagram picks up through hashtags, who you follow, posts you like, and your searches. Instagram has now included some of these Explore Feed posts on your regular feed, so strangers now pop up as you are scrolling.
  • You can now follow hashtags, and rumor has it that your profile might be favored if you’re following certain hashtags. 
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Many people are discouraged by Instagram’s new algorithm, but let’s see this as an opportunity to grow and adapt! Accounts with large followings are becoming less relevant if they aren’t engaging with their audience. If we consistently interact with people and provide value, this will work to our advantage!

Final Rule of Thumb

Remember, ALWAYS focus on content quality and engagement. Be authentic and interact. Treat social media the same way you would a conversation. And, have fun!

Still have questions on how to better market your business via social media? Shoot us a direct message on Instagram, @clearphdesign, we’re always happy to chat!