What’s the deal with “turn on notification” posts on Instagram?

March 29, 2016

Instagram logoAck! Our Instagram feeds have been taken over by “turn on notification” requests. What’s the deal with these messages and should you follow the directions to turn notifications on?

First of all you should know that an official announcement from Instagram is the reason small businesses around the globe are requesting that their followers take action. Here’s what Instagram announced on March 15, 2016:

“To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”

Here comes the algorithm. Darn.

In the coming months (not now, but later) Instagram will deploy algorithms to alter the posts you see in your feed, similar to how Facebook controls what posts you see.

Did you know Instagram is owned by Facebook?

Algorithms are scary for small business marketers who use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with consumers–we’ve all seen how some social networking sites (like Facebook) evolved from “free” to use to pay-to-play when algorithms were deployed.

With Instagram algorithm changes in mind, some are panicking and sending out “turn on notification” posts in an effort to try and ensure consumers will see their Instagram posts. They probably have not thought about what consumers will experience if they follow the path towards turning on notifications.

The downside of turning on Instagram notifications.

According to Huffington Post there is a real downside to turning on notifications—it has to do with being distracted by push notification alerts on your phone.woman on iPad

“If you start turning on post notifications for all sorts of individual accounts, you’ll soon find yourself inundated by updates. Phone notifications are distracting and awful, so why would you want to turn on even more of them?”

What should you do now?

It’s natural that small business marketers are worried their posts will be pushed to the bottom of the pile when Instagram triggers the algorithm changes, but BBC has questioned what the truth will be in this recent article.

“Instagram hasn’t revealed how the new algorithm will work, so it’s not clear if that’s actually true.”

What’s most important to know at this point is that Instagram has not yet triggered the algorithm changes, and that they will be rolling out changes to select users over time. There’s no need for a small business marketer to ask customers to “turn on notifications” today and there’s no need for consumers to comply.

Our advice is to proceed with caution and watch how Instagram’s algorithm evolves in the months ahead, then respond accordingly.

Need help keeping up with the world of social media marketing for your small business in Whatcom County? Contact PR Consulting—we can help!

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