Instagram promises to deliver better ranking algorithm focusing on originality

One thing is clear now, Instagram doesn’t want TikTok videos on Reels. And to make that idea clearer, the company is implementing new changes to its algorithm that will prioritize original content in the platform’s ranking.

The announcement was made by Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, in a post alongside two more features (product tags and enhanced tags) that are meant to help creators improve their content. “Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure that they are successful and get all the credit they deserve,” says Mosseri in a post.

This will be a good step for the platform, especially now that most of the pieces of content in the place are just videos or photos taken from other creators. What makes the thing problematic is that such posts foster a credit-grabbing culture, with those individuals just resharing the content but basically receiving countless views and engagements. This also makes the competition tougher for original content creators with tons of reshared content populating Reels. 

With this, Mosseri promises that Instagram will focus on suggesting original content from creators. “… I know a lot of you are skeptical of ranking, but it really does help us make sure that Instagram is more valuable to each and every person who uses the platform,” says Mosseri in a video. “This one is specifically focused though on this idea of originality. If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something that you found from someone else. We’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

Mosseri noted that Instagram is “already” doing it but is “leaning more in this direction and plan to do so more and more over time.” When asked by Matt Navarra, a social media industry expert, about why the platform is leaning into such a path now and what has changed, the platform’s head answered: “As we lean more into recommendations it’s becoming increasingly important that don’t overvalue aggregators, as that would be bad for creators, and therefore bad for Instagram long term.”

On the other hand, other curious individuals dipped into the Twitter thread. One user, Queenie Wong of CNET, asked how the platform would identify the original creator of the video or image.

“We can’t know for sure,” Mosseri’s answer reads. “We build classifiers to predict how *likely* something is to be original, but that’s not knowing. We look at things like who’s in the video, and if we’ve seen the video before.”

Meanwhile, when asked how Instagram would determine if the content is original or just shared, Mosseri admitted that the task would be hard. “If the account is an aggregator, we’ll more likely be able to detect that it’s not original,” the response reads. “If it’s someone pretending to be that original creator, which is less likely but could happen, it’ll be hard for us to know.”

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