Instagram has released two updates significantly changing the user experience – ranking algorithms that prioritize original content and enabling product tagging on posts that improve product discovery.
Product tagging only works for public accounts; Instagram is also working on a feature to tag products in Stories. Another one of the updates by Instagram, Ranking For Originality, has already been active, and the platform has shared more information on the development.
Instagram has expanded the ability to add product tags in Feed posts to all users in the US, not just creators, and brands. Previously, the feature enabling product tagging in posts was only available to brands and creators.
How to add a product tag:
- Start to create a post on Feed
- Tap ‘Tag people’
- Search and tag the brand first. 2 options should show up at the bottom labelled ‘People’ & ‘Products’
- Tap ‘Products’
- Tap the photo to start tagging products. Use descriptors to find the product. Once you find the product, specify any styles and/or colours, then tap to add a tag.
- Search for and tag product
- Hit ‘share’ to publish the post
Ranking For Originality
Adam Mosseri mentions that in an attempt to provide due credit to creators of original content, the Instagram algorithm will now be factoring in the “originality” of content. Creators also raised concerns about the parameters judging originality of content, such as a format picked up from a video on a different platform.
Mosseri clarifies that this is something Instagram already does, but will be more inclined into this factor and plans to do so more over time. This development comes in as Instagram leans more into recommendations and doesn’t overvalue aggregators that are harmful to creators’ growth and bad for Instagram in the long term.
Instagram has built classifiers to predict “how likely something is to be original”. The detection system will see factors such as who’s in the video and whether the video has been seen before.
While the attempt stems from the intention of credit provision, the update may be harmful to creators if the detection system in place is not efficient to factor in all elements, as a lot of videos are created on the same template but may necessarily be not original.