Instagram’s latest algorithm update is designed to reward original content over reposted content. Here’s everything brands need to know.

 

The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri recently announced new ranking changes to the Instagram algorithm. With this ranking change, Instagram is heavily leaning into promoting original content within the algorithm. This is something the platform already prioritises, but the announcement points to new capabilities within their platform aimed at detecting original vs re-used content. 

As Mosseri explained, “We’re going to do more to try and value original content, particularly compared to reposted content.” 

While this isn’t a completely new update, what it signals is the opportunity to improve the reach and engagement of your Instagram posts that feature original content. This also means reposted content isn’t likely to perform as well based on algorithm changes. This is part of a concerted push from Instagram to try and reduce the dominance of aggregator profiles—particularly those who reshare mass amounts of funny videos and memes, and give more credit to original content creators where it’s due.  

For brands, this raises the question of how resharing your influencer or user-generated content may impact an overall account’s performance? We know this is a content strategy that’s a big part of how many brands drive interest to their Instagram profile. But don’t panic. We’re here to help you navigate this change and give you four tips on how to beat Instagram’s latest algorithm update.

What classifies as original content? 

 

Let’s level-set on a few things before we begin. ‘Original content’ is classed as a piece of content that you made. It’s an image or video that’s never been posted to Instagram before by someone else.

Mosseri explains, “The idea is if you made it, it’s original. It’s okay if you edit it outside of Instagram and then bring it in via the gallery.” 

It means that if you’ve created an original video and published it on TikTok first, you can still post that video on Reels and not have it penalised by the platform’s new ranking update. However, you will need to remove the TikTok watermark, as this is something Instagram had previously confirmed will hinder your content’s performance on the platform. You can use our guide to removing the TikTok watermark on desktop, iPhone and android to help you do this.

How brands can create more original content to beat Instagram’s new algorithm update

Why is Instagram prioritising original content?

 

It’s no surprise Instagram updated its algorithm to help creator content thrive on the platform. “Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure that they are successful and get all the credit they deserve” states Mosseri. “If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something that you found from someone else.”

We also know Instagram is heavily competing with other platforms such as TikTok, to keep its creators engaged within the app. This change has likely come as a result of Instagram wanting to encourage creators to stay engaged with the platform and continue creating original Instagram content.

 

How does this algorithm update affect brands? 

 

We predict this update will heavily benefit creators. But what about brands? As we mentioned earlier, we know many brands rely on reposting influencer or user-generated content as a strategy to keep their content feeds fresh and create audience interaction. 

In light of these new updates, we can only assume reposting frequently could hinder your brand’s organic performance on Instagram. Changes like this can sometimes provide an opportunity for brands to revisit their social content strategies. We would encourage all our customers to re-evaluate how they distribute content on Instagram and update their approach to align with the platform’s current algorithm ranking factors.

How brands can create more original content to beat Instagram’s new algorithm update

Four ways brands can beat the new Instagram algorithm update

 

There are plenty of ways to work around this update and ensure your brand’s Instagram engagement doesn’t get impacted. Here are four tips you can incorporate into your Instagram content strategy.

 

#1 Collaborate with content creators

 

The first and most obvious solution is to partner with creators who produce original content. 

Creators have the ability to promote your brand in the most authentic and genuine way. Their creativity is unmatched and they become advocates for your brand, giving you the ability to speak to their audiences, through the creator’s content. 

This is the best way to get the most out of the new algorithm update, as your brand’s name will be associated with the creator’s original content—content that will be rewarded by the algorithm, and reach more of your target audience.

Vamp’s platform has streamlined the collaboration process between brands and creators, connecting you with our diverse, vetted community. Our talent sourcing software gives you the opportunity to find the perfect creator and scale content as needed. You can make your selection based on verified audience and performance data, and manage the entire campaign, from briefing your creators to reporting on their performance, all within the platform.

How brands can create more original content to beat Instagram’s new algorithm update

#2 Use the ‘Tag as a collaborator’ feature

 

When collaborating with creators, it’s a good idea to not only encourage them to tag you as a paid partner, but encourage them to tag you as a collaborator. 

Instagram’s new ‘Invite Collaborator’ feature gives any user the opportunity to invite another account owner as a collaborator, providing the ability to have the post shared to their profile grid, and with their followers in feed. 

When you accept the invite, you’re also shown as another author on the post. This means your brand name will be attached to that piece of original content in the algorithm.

This is a great alternative to reposting influencer-generated content, as the original creator’s post will show up on your grid and in your followers’ feeds, having no need to repost it yourself. Check out how this looks on both your grid and the creators grid below:

invite-collaborator-instagram

#3 Run content-only campaigns

 

A cost-effective way to create original content is to work with creators on content-only campaigns. This is where you brief a creator to shoot bespoke and original content for your brand, that isn’t posted to the creator’s social accounts. It’s content made specifically for you that you can purchase the rights to use across any marketing channel, including your Instagram account. 

Because you will have access to images or videos that haven’t previously been posted to Instagram, you’ll be featuring original content. This means your account should reap the benefits of Instagram’s algorithm update. 

Vamp offers the ability to run end-to-end, content-only campaigns on our platform. You can quickly brief our creators, select photographers or videographers you wish to work with, and instruct them to shoot beautifully effective content that highlights your brand story and product. You can then use this bespoke content across your Instagram profile, as well as across paid social ads, email marketing or on your website. 

Read one of our case studies on how food retail brand San Remo did exactly that.

content-only-campaigns

#4 Put more focus on creating in-house and behind-the-scenes content 

 

Our final piece of advice is to utlise your team to focus on creating more in-house and behind-the-scenes content (BTS).

For example, you could shoot BTS content at all of your campaign and e-commerce shoots to give your audience a behind-the-scenes view of your business. 

You could also opt to create content that features your team. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you could have your staff style outfits together and create a ‘Our staff picks’ Reels series.

This strategy will not only ensure you’re creating original content to get the best use of the algorithm, but it gives your audience a