This week on The Socialscape:
Welcome back to the Socialscape, guys. A weekly round-up of all things social media. I'm gunna give you what's new, what's next, and what's notable so stick with me, we got some solid topics this week and a new segment to roll out at the end, so here we go.
INSTAGRAM DM GROUP SIZES
A quick hitter here to kick things off. Instagram has increased the size of DM groups from 15 accounts to 32. This is great for those with 31 friends, but even more awesome for those using DM engagement groups to promote interaction on your posts.
INSTAGRAM RECOMMENDED POSTS
Sticking with the IG theme, Instagram announced yesterday that they're going to be adding to your Feed with a new section called Recommend Posts which will show you recommended content based on people you follow and photos/videos that you like. Unlike sponsored ads that annoyingly pop up right in the middle of your Feed, Recommended Posts won't start appearing until you've reached that "You're All Caught Up" message. Scroll past that point, and you can browse the new "Recommended for You" section. This plays into Instagram's focus on exposing users to new creators and connecting you to new accounts that fit with your preferences. Look for this over the next few days across all smartphones.
RUSSIAN HACKERS TARGET IG USERS
Breaking news, Instagram is right in the middle of a pretty massive scandal. Over the last few weeks, users have been taking to Twitter to report that their Instagram accounts have been hacked from Russian servers, completely locking them out, and replacing their profile pictures with screengrabs from Pixar movies...random, I know. They're saying that hundreds of accounts have been compromised, but here's what you can do to protect yourself. Go to your IG Settings and turn on something called 2-Factor Authentication (or 2FA if you're super cool). This makes it harder to log in to your account from a new device because you not only need your password, you also need a 6-digit security that Instagram sends directly to your phone. I'd recommend everybody enables this feature because GOSH DANG RUSSIA!...
FACEBOOK RANKING SYSTEMS
Speaking of Russia, fake news is everywhere right now, and Facebook is the number one place to find it. Following the latest presidential election, Facebook gave users the ability to report posts as "fake news" which would lead to the post being removed, buuuuut people obviously took advantage of that and started reporting anything they disagreed with and that lead to even more outrage from the public. Facebook then responded by creating a third-party fact checker division (yes, you read that right) to sort through posts that were reported as fake news. Unfortunately, this only solved half of the problem because people continued to report posts, the fact checkers got overwhelmed with the amount of facts they had to check, and it pretty much clogged up the whole process. However, Facebook is determined to figure this out, and they are introducing a new "user trustworthiness score" to help limit bogus reports. This feature is basically a reliability ranking which holds users accountable to their own reporting accuracy, improving or dropping their trustworthiness score according to what the fact checkers find. These scores will be on a scale of 0 to 1, 1 being the most trustworthy, 0 being Vladimir Putin, but the scores will be hidden for now, so none of us will really know where we stand.
INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM DECODED?
That's all cool and whatever, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook is also giving us a peek into their Friend-Ranking system, which I think is actually then showing us a HUGE piece of how the Instagram algorithm works. Here's what they're saying...
The more you interact with somebody on Facebook (which includes liking their posts, searching for them, viewing their profile, being tagged in photos with them, communicating with them, having lots of mutual friends, living close to them, being of similar age, or if you're in the same Groups as them), that person's content will pop up on your feed more often. However, this doesn't get YOUR content in front of THEM unless THEY ALSO interact frequently with you. The way Facebook calculates and ranks all of this is by a decimal score, but unlike the trustworthiness scores, the LOWER your score, the closer your connection to that person.
So how do we know if this being applied to Instagram? Well, seeing as Facebook owns IG, I'd be willing to put my money on it, but I can also tell you that I know if spend time browsing a specific profile and engaging with their content and searching them frequently, I see their content in my feed waaaay more than anybody else's. I've tested this, I've had my theories, and now I'm confident in saying that this news from Facebook may be the final piece to the puzzle in seeing how the Instagram algorithm actually works. Combine this friend ranking system with the 60-minute engagement score system that we've all hypothesized on, and I'm pretty sure we're looking at the full framework of the elusive Instagram algorithm.
POST OF THE WEEK
Lastly, guys, to close this out, I wanna introduce a new segment called "Post of the Week." This is where I'm gunna grab a post from Instagram that is well-executed, impactful, or just straight up fun or entertaining, and feature it here. If you wanna be considered for Post of the Week, make sure you tag me @alexlagoswastaken and hashtag #TheSocialscape so I can check it out and put you on the next episode.
This week, I wanna highlight a post by Tyler, the Creator aka @feliciathegoat. This post came out a month ago, but I wanna bring attention to it because I think it's awesome to see high-level artists use social media in unique ways. Basically, what Tyler did was create a private Instagram profile under the name of his new album, @scumfuckflowerboy, and documented the entire album creation process. As of today, there are 245 posts, all pictures and videos dated waaaay back to April 29, 2016. With this post from his main account, Tyler announced that the private account would be made public for fans to check out "random stuff from the album being made." I love this, I'm a fan of Tyler as a creative mind, and this is just another example of him using social media to further the reach of his music and garner more attention around what he's doing. Very cool, Tyler, very cool.
That's it for now, guys. Thanks for tuning in. I'll be back with another episode in about a week, but be sure to follow me on Instagram to get the latest news and updates as things happen between now and then. As always, if you're interested in some one-on-one social media help with your brand or business, slide into my DMs, shoot me an email, whatever works best for you. I'd love to hear from you.