We all know the Instagram Explore tab, it’s that little compass rose icon at the bottom of Instagram that you never click on. That is, until now. The explore tab was a collection of the most liked images on Instragram record, with likes amounting to the tens of thousands. It was almost like a popularity contest where only top celebrities and brands were featured. What did this mean for the average Instagram user? Nothing. Ergo the problem.
With pictures and posts that are not tailored to the user, there’s no need to click on the explore tab to see people you’ve never heard of or celebrities you might not follow or even like.
Instagram recently introduced an algorithm to change all of that. It is now relevant and useful to every user by displaying either friends of friends or photos that your friends have liked. Brilliant! Assuming the user has friends with similar interests, and who doesn’t, the average #IGGER will now actually care about this tab. You can find pictures of your current friends on another friend’s page and even see your favorite brand pop up now and then.
This is where it’s great news for advertisers too. If you are targeting a specific demographic, chances are you will be in the explore tab for a particular user in your target market even if that person is not following you. When that user’s friend likes a post from your company, it is likely to show up on the new Explore tab.
And don’t worry about privacy settings. The new algorithm will not show images from private accounts in this section, even if a friend of a friend has liked it.