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The Secret Way Instagram is Telling You What Posts Will Succeed

While Instagram has made a good-faith effort recently to demystify its algorithm and clear up misconceptions around things like how many hashtags you should use (2-5, it turns out!), the constantly-changing nature of the app always has creators attempting to anticipate what’s around the corner. But there’s only one person who knows exactly how to master the Instagram algorithm, and that’s Instagram itself—so users are watching how Instagram’s own accounts, like @Creators, are changing how they post.

I first noticed this when I was looking at @Creators’s recent post about hashtags. The informational slides were all technically still images, but had been uploaded as video slides. It doesn’t really change the experience as a user, so why take that extra step? I wasn’t the only one with the question.

“Curious: why are these still graphic slides posted as video slides?” beauty blogger Darian Symoné Harvin commented.

“Apparently it takes time to read the text so it looks like the video is being watched giving the post more time and interaction,” user @afrophbabe replied.

“The entire account is a study in engagement I’m learning,” Harvin replied, and it’s true. Whatever tricks Instagram itself is doing to take advantage of the algorithm are really the only reliable footsteps to be following, and nearly every post on the @Creators page has some kind of video element.

This isn’t necessarily surprising, since head of Instagram Adam Mosseri recently said Instagram was no longer a “square photo-sharing app.”

He instead painted Instagram as a more general entertainment site, but the moves being made on Instagram’s own accounts seem to confirm what many creators believe to be true: Instagram is making it harder and harder to get engagement posting photos, prioritizing video content in their algorithm instead. At least, for now. You can keep your eyes peeled on how @Creators is posting to figure out what’s next.