Are the algorithms the only problem?

i’ve been doing something thinking and personal research looking at the correlation between the new algorithms on youtube/instagram and engagement.

(prepare for the novel lmfao)

many many people have seen a huge decrease in engagement because of these new algorithms so 100% of the blame went towards the new algorithms.

talking about instagram specifically

the feed is no longer chronological as we all know unfortunately and this has contributed to the decrease in engagement. instagram shows photos they feel you will engagement with more meaning it takes into account your actions (i.e., the photos you view, comment on, like and save)

i decided to look at specific instagram accounts. i looked at users who have a clear support base and saw that their engagement has been consistent. same consistency in likes/comments from chronological to post-chronological era. i looked at a big user with 100 million followers and a smaller user at 100 thousand followers. both showed a steady (authentic) gain and truthfully, it looked like the smaller user benefited from the algorithm change.

all of these users including the two above have a very clear support base.

now, i looked at another group of users that i knew did not have a clear support base. one user in particular i remember complained about the algorithm in regards to their engagement. truth be told, their engagement has been oddly plataeud for over a year. this person has 1 million followers but they definitely do not have a clear or strong support base

another user, has a little less than 100k followers and they too complained about algorithm changes but as i grew to expect, they’re engagement has been very small compared to their follower count on both platforms (youtube & instagram)

this group, including the two above, have been vocal about their disdain for the new algorithms but the lack of engagement has been apparent since before the changes.

this made me think,

is it really the algorithms?

i’m now caressing the idea that maybe these new algorithms expose a truth many of us are not willing to face.

if this algorithm relies on your followers engaging with your content to have a higher rank, does the lack of engagement hint to the fact that maybe they just don’t give two flying **** about you/your content?

now i can see where there is a tiny paradox. if they’re not seeing your content, how can they engage with it to see more of it?

but if your followers cared about your content, wouldn’t they search you up to find it?

that may seem tedious but i think that’s what separates group a and group b. group a had a wide range of followers but in the comments alone, it was very clear that they had a strong support base.

group b had virtually the same amount of followers but a significantly smaller engagement ratio even before the algorithms were in place. you could tell they did not have a strong support base. it’s like they have suppers by chance not supporters by will.

by that i mean, they’re followers engaged with their content because they happened to come across it. the algorithm changed so they no longer happened to come across to give it a like (plus, the content they did engage with consistently trumped group b’s content as well)

now, if this is what the algorithms highlight, i think that’s good news. it gives you a clear idea of what you need to do. you need to either create content geared towards what your followers would like, OR you need to identify your true target audience and attract them accordingly.

what do you guys think?

is there a method to the madness?


I’m new to all of this, so I don’t know. But I do find this topic very interesting. Perhaps using certain key words/phrasing in titles of videos (similar to those found in trending videos) will help get our videos noticed by a wide variety of people. I should mention that I’m currently in graduate school studying Economics; I understand that there must be demand for a particular kind of video and you must cater to your target audience, but getting past the algorithms is way beyond my area of expertise.


The way that Instagram sorts my feed is so annoying. I can open the app, close it, then open it seconds later and it shows me posts from last week. It’s happened to me many times where I was going to click on an account with a funny post, but accidentally refreshed my feed to see that post vanish. Instead of searching for the account, I decide to just scroll on and forget about it. Algorithms can’t always make split-second decisions as to what you’re interested in seeing, as they can’t read your mind. They can only base upon what you’ve been searching for the past few days or so. For the explore page, sure why not use an algorithm for the posts, 95% of the time I don’t follow those accounts. But for my feed, chronological order is the way to go. I’d rather see newer posts from friends than week-old memes from an account I searched up once or twice.


it definitely is interesting!

as far as getting past the algorithm, i think it might be in one’s better interest to work with it vs against it at this point in time no?

following trends is one way, i agree (:
i think if creators also take time to analyze what their new analytics are saying they can begin to get the results they are wanting too! (:

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@nogud Yes I agree that we need to work with the algorithms. I look at it as very similar to applying for a job and hoping the resume gets past the HR algorithms. To do that, you need to write your resume a certain way and make sure you have key words that the employer is looking for. I think something like this is what we’re going to have to do on v2. However, any one of us could have the first viral video on v2 and everyone would be using similar words/phrasing to us in working with the algorithms.


i feel you for sure!

i hate when it refreshes so quickly but at the same time, it’s kind of growing on me lmfao :sob:

do you see posts from people you don’t follow on your feed?


Other than ads, no. The only problem is that a feed is supposed to be new posts, in chronological order, but I guess instagram can’t do that :man_shrugging:


i feel the same - it’s not the algorithms that do not allow your feed to be discovered but it’s the fact that your followers may not give “two flying s****” about what you post!


hahaha exactly!

the algorithm just highlights that fact!


At the end of the day, quality content does matter.


100% agreed!


One question I have is this: Does engagement = enjoyment?

Here’s the thing, engagement is fun for some, but tedious for others. Has “hearting” something lost its meaning? I used to only Like things on Facebook that I thought were amazing, but I don’t expect to see amazing, novel things every time I log into Facebook. I’m happy to scroll and read and move on. So I think the algorithm could potentially feed a “popularity contest” of sorts. Idk, I don’t like it when social media sucks me in. I don’t like feeling manipulated or ruled by it. I think you should give people the choice to toggle on/off what kind of timeline they want.

It’s like fashion. Some people want to follow trends, and some people curate a timeless style. Let people decide. Give us choices. Otherwise, I think the hyperactive people will always get the attention.


this thread is incredibly long. you deserve this cookie :fortune_cookie:
haha got you it’s a fortune cookie
(i’ll be here all night)

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Engagement does not always equal enjoyment, that’s for sure! I think it’s actually highlighted with the new algorithm

Group A from above, you could tell the people that engaged with their content actually enjoyed their content. One person posts maybe every 4 days at best, yet she still manages to get 300+ unique and genuine contents when she sits at only 100k+

Group B, typically posts every day and usually multiple times a day but their engagement is very dull. Few people engage and the ones that do post ingenuous comments, for example.

While the algorithm tells people what others think of their content is also shows everyday users that they’re potentially following content they don’t really care about. They should give users the option though, I agree there.

I was heavily annoyed by the algorithm at first but just recently, i unfollowed a bit of people i just didn’t care for and fell back in love with my feed! Not having my feed in chronological order doesn’t bother me much and surprisingly because i engage with almost everyone i follow, my feed is almost chronological again!

I no longer see posts from days or weeks ago, only hours/minutes ago and they’re usually grouped so i’ll see posts from minutes to 3 hours ago, then i’ll see posts from 5-8 hours ago and so on


lmfaooo can’t go wrong with fortune cookies :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I hate the algorithm cause it shows me something from days ago & not the current date


I do think that algorithms can make a huge difference to someone’s views/likes/etc although I think one of the overlooked things is probably that people’s interests change over time and so will the content they watch. Back in 2013-2014 for example, I was completely obsessed with a youtuber called iHasCupquake because I was really interested in gaming related stuff (I actually named myself after her in case you haven’t noticed) but now I barely ever watch her videos anymore simply because my interests have changed. She has 5 or 6 million subscribers on youtube but she only gets about 20k per video because I think a lot of people are in the same position as me.
Anyway, there are lots of other things which are responsible for follower engagement declining but this is one of them


i used to have that problem too!

but my feed now is close to chronological! it is now refreshed and goes like this

  • 34 minutes ago
  • 15 minutes
  • 36 minutes
    - ad
  • 2 hours
  • 2 hours
    - suggestions
  • 7 hours
  • 6 hours
  • 4 hours
  • 8 hours
    - ad

it is not 100% chronological but now that i cleared out people i really didn’t care for anymore, i don’t have the problem anymore. i don’t know if this is “the fix” for everyone but it’s been like this for a while for me (:

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Can you tell me how I can do that because I sometimes get something like that

lost interest definitely is a factor, 100%

that’s when the creator has to decide if they want to change their content or change their target audience for sure

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