Understanding Instagrams new categories feature is very important. Instagram has tinkered with the algorithm again but this time its a more positive step. Instagram’s latest feature helps you understand who you basically love seeing more of and who you rarely engage with.

What we understand

The new “Following Categories” feature groups the accounts you follow into 3 simple lists:

  • Accounts you see most often
  • Accounts you least interact with
  • Accounts sorted by earliest to latest followed

As we understand it the Search Engine Journal states that “Instagram uses data from the past 90 days to create these categories.” In creating those personalised categories the algorithm watches your behaviour. This is in the form of Interactions. In Instagram’s case, this refers to likes, comments, shares, DMs, time spent viewing the post, saves, and a few other metrics none of us know Instagram is measuring. What this means is that if you constantly do the above, your feed will reflect those accounts.

This is Instagram attempt to help users ensure that the content shown in their feed remains relevant. You must remember that Instagram is a company that exists to maximize profit. They do that by maximizing the time we spend on the app so they can sell our attention to advertisers. Therefore Instagram pushes forward posts that will engage people the most meaning we are on the app for longer.

The Bigger Picture

Simply put this is going to lead to a lot of purging. Especially for those accounts that show up in your feed but you least interact with. Marketers or influencers will need to step their game up. I say this because if their followers see that they are on the least interacted list they will get purged and this will lead to less followers. It’s going to shift some accounts. 

The flip side is that by purging you will now get a denser and more interactive following. This may actually prove to be beneficial because the Algorithm will see that the users  that are left after the purge are engaging with your content, 

Instagrams new categories feature is amazing because by seeing which accounts continuously top your feed and which ones you’re not showing love to, you can use this insight to change personalize the Instagram algorithm. For example, Techcrunch states

“Instagram is really about bringing you closer to the people and things you care about – but we know that over time, your interests and relationships can evolve and change. We want to make it easier to manage the accounts you follow on Instagram so that they best represent your current connections and interests.”

What this means is that show love to the ones that you want to interact with. Another important factor is that it can be an alarm,  to state that you must engage more or you’re neglecting these accounts.

Just do us a favour, open the Instagram app and proceed to your profile. Tap on “Following” and you’ll see the option to group the accounts into different categories.

This feature is going to change how we interact on Instagram. ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE.


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