5 Reasons Why Instagram’s Algorithm is Irrelevant

Recently, Instagram announced that it will change the order in which posts are displayed to users. Currently, posts are displayed in chronological order, so that your followers see what you post in the order you post it. While it's not completely clear how posts will be displayed after the change is implemented, it is clear that Instagram will display posts in the order it feels is best, and not in the order we are used to viewing them.


More specifically, as stated in Instagram's announcement, it will “show the moments we believe you will care about the most.” As was the case when Facebook (which owns Instagram), made a similar announcement a few years back, many small business owners are upset about Instagram's announcement. There is even a hash tag and a petition devoted to the effort to force Instagram to reverse course.

Those pleas are a waste of time and energy. The entrepreneurs begging Instagram to change its mind would be better served if they invested their resources tending to improving their own algorithms. Not worrying about Instagram's. Here is why focusing on Instagram in this way is a waste of time, and why what Instagram does is irrelevant to your business.

5 Reasons Why Instagram's Algorithm is Irrelevant

  1. Your business model is more important than Instagram's

    As a business owner, you must prioritize your business over everyone else's by quickly adjusting to changes over which you have no control. To do anything else is choosing to live by a third party agenda and not your own.

    What Instagram does or does not do is only important to the extent that you have to understand it, and then decide whether it will continue to work for your business. If it won't work for you, stop using it. If it will work for you, adjust to the change and keep pressing forward to solidify your business model. Do not prioritize Instagram's changes over the ones you need to make in your own business.

    Don't get dragged into the Instagram drama. Don't read every single blog post or newsletter with the latest Instagram “how to.” Instead, let it shake out so you can actually see what Instagram's new algorithm does and does not do to the manner in which you do business. This will save you a ton of time reading this and reading that. Wait until the experts have figured it out a bit, and then read the top-rated content on the topic. Make adjustments and tweaks, and go back to running your business. Rinse and repeat the next time there is a change.

  2. Instagram does not care about your business

    News flash: You do not own Instagram. Instagram does not feed you and your family.

    Only your laser focused efforts on the online real estate that you own and control feeds you and your family. Instgram and every single other social media outlet are owned by people with priorities that are very different from yours. They want to make money, and your business is a means to that end.

    So long as you are helping them make money, you can play well together. If you're not doing your part to contribute to their bottom line, you will get a little sliding board in the play ground, but you won't get a really big one. Accept that.

    Instead of watching what Instagram does, do what Instagram does. Invest the bulk of your time creating your algorithms that lead directly to your bank account.

  3. Your Fans Will Love You Anyway

    The customers who love your products will not suddenly stop doing so because Instagram's algorithm changes. Why? Because if you are focused on created systems that work in your business, your customers and prospects won't need Instagram to find and buy your products.

    If your are using your core marketing systems wisely and consistently, you don't need any third party owned outlet to maintain your business.

    I'm not saying social media outlets are not helpful. I'm saying that you should not rely on them. You should rely on what you won and control, ad then sprinkle third party platforms on top of that to add a little extra spice.

  4. You have your newsletter and your blog

    If you have a website with an opt-in that appeals to your target customers, a newsletter that you publish regularly as a part of your core marketing outreach, and a blog that you update regularly using posts that contain keywords and content that speaks to your customers, you can live without Instagram altogether.

  5. You are the captain of your ship

    The moment you adopt the mindset that Instagram's change, or any change from an external source, can somehow ruin your business is the moment you begin to fail your business. This way of thinking turns you into a victim of the business ways and whims of people who have nothing to do with your business.

    Instagram is not buying your products or featuring you on its website. Instagram is not checking in with you to see if everything is OK, and to find out if your use of its platform delivers new and/or repeat sales for you.

    Instagram cannot touch your customers like you can. You are the leader of your business. You are the person at the helm. Not Instagram. Not Facebook. Not anyone else. Take control of your core marketing, layer a bit of Instagram on top of it, and lead your customers to your products with as few middle men as possible.

Remember that social media is only icing, it's not cake.

Don't Prioritize Instagram's Business Over Your Own

Social media outlets are like breaking news stories. They scream and holler at you over and over again until you click on them. Once you get sucked into one or two of them, you are doomed to look at them for hours, and see the same story over and over and over again. Meanwhile, your newsletter does not get published. Your blog becomes a ghost town (and with it, your website overall), and your positive energy is depleted. The next thing you know, your sales are flat and your dream is derailed.

Don't let this happen to you. Put Instagram in its proper place.

Make it a spoke on your wheel, but not the wheel.

Make it icing on the cake, but it's not the cake.

Make it a part of your marketing efforts, but not the core of them.


Are you bothered by Instagram's announcement? Am I overstating things? I don't think so, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and reactions to this new change. Feel free to share in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.