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Instagram: No, We’re Not Hiding Your Photos from Your Followers


There has been a viral “chain letter” type of post that has been spreading on Instagram that warns users of the social network limiting post reach. Instagram has officially responded by saying that it does not do anything to prevent posts from showing up to all your followers.

Over the past few months, Instagram users have been sharing a copy-and-paste message warning about Instagram’s algorithms hiding your posts from all but 7% of your followers. The message asks people who see it to “like” the post and comment the word “yes” in order to help increase the account’s reach.

The message has gained so much traction that Instagram felt compelled to respond.

“What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc,” Instagram says. “We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you’re following.”

Basically, Instagram does manipulate the order of posts that show up, but if your followers scroll through their feeds for long enough, they will 100% eventually see all of your posts. But the twist is that if the person is following a huge number of accounts, they may never scroll down far enough to see your posts before your photos are buried by even more posts that are competing for attention.

A report back in 2018 provided a closer look at Instagram’s ranking algorithm.

So while the idea that Instagram limits your reach to a default of 7% of followers may not be true, it does seem like encouraging your followers to like and comment on your posts will help the posts to show up earlier in feeds, which does improve your effective “reach.”

Ever since Instagram abandoned its original chronological feed back in 2016, there has been a persistent group of users who are vocal about wanting the simple algorithm-less feed to be restored. Twitter recently restored the ability to view timelines in reverse chronological order, but there’s no indication that Facebook is planning the same for Instagram anytime soon.

Image credits: Screenshots via Engadget and The Verge