How Instagram’s update will affect the way marketers use it

by Alex Cleanthous - Get more articles like this sent to your email here

If you use hashtags in Instagram to increase your likes, comments, and followers, then you may have noticed a drop in engagement recently.

That’s because Instagram recently made an update which effectively gives some users a “shadowban”.

In our latest episode of Web Profits TV, I share what that means, and what you can do about it.


Instagram is changing.

If you’ve been using hashtags to increase the likes and comments on your photos as well as your followers, then you would have seen a big decrease in engagement.

This is being referred to as a “shadowban,” which means that you and the people who follow you can see posts within the hashtag search that you have hashtagged but people who don’t follow you won’t.

So what does this actually mean?

Hashtags have been used for years to drive engagement and grow followers on Instagram.

Now they’ve changed the rules making it very difficult to grow new audiences through hashtags.

Your current followers are still going to see your posts and if you are getting engagement on those posts it’s very likely from them and not new audiences who found you through hashtags.

I predict this is going to be the first in a number of steps of Instagram converting from an organic to a pay-to-play platform.

I also predict that Instagram is going to launch a number of new advertising options soon that allow marketers to increase their followers and promote specific content on Instagram.

So how should you respond?

Well, first of all, don’t think of it as a bad thing, it’s just the way of the world.

A platform becomes so successful that it’s forced to monetise itself to pay for its costs and to provide a return to its investors, and that’s where Instagram is right now.

The benefits that marketers and companies had received for free are soon going to cost money.

That’s a big change.

But in change there’s opportunity and the marketers that take advantage of that opportunity to really leverage Instagram advertising for growth are the ones who are going to win.

About the show

Web Profits is a full service online marketing agency with over 80 data-driven specialists. Built on a culture of innovative, strategic and intuitive thinking, Web Profits focuses on achieving successful, performance-based results online.

Web Profits TV is our way of helping business owners, C-level executives and marketing professionals grow a business using online marketing, with a particular focus on social media, online advertising, content marketing and conversion rate optimisation. You can use this information to implement the strategies yourself or to help you know what to expect from anyone you hire to do it for you.

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Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation at Web Profits
Alex Cleanthous is an entrepreneur, writer, technologist, and marketing leader. He is Co-Founder of Web Profits, Australia’s largest private digital consultancy. With more than 17 years experience in the digital space, Alex stays at the forefront of digital innovation, strategy, and execution identifying new markets, platforms, and tools to keep pace with the exponential expansion of technology.

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