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Instagram to improve its ranking system to better highlight original content

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Image Credits: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP / Getty Images

Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced today that the company is going to tweak its ranking algorithm to highlight original content more on its platform. Following the announcement, a spokesperson for the social media giant told TechCrunch in an email that Instagram is making changes to its ranking algorithm to prioritize the distribution of original content, rather than reposted content, in places like the Reels tab and feed.

“This is specifically focused on the idea of originality,” Mosseri said in a video shared on his social media channels on Wednesday. “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.”

Instagram elaborated that the platform will now be less likely to recommend reposts of Reels that are already on the app. The company will also be less likely to recommend accounts that aggregate and reshare other users’ content. Instagram notes that as it recommends more content on the app, it believes that it’s important that the credit, distribution, growth and monetization go to the original creator.

In response to a tweet from social media consultant Matt Navarra, Mosseri noted that Instagram already works to highlight original content, but that it’s leaning more in this direction and will continue to do so.

“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,” Mosseri said in a tweet.

When asked how Instagram can determine the original creator of an image or a video, Mosseri explained in a tweet that the app “can’t know for sure.” He outlined that the company builds classifiers to predict how likely something is to be original. The company also looks at things like who’s in the video and if the app has seen the video before.

Instagram is flooded with popular meme accounts that repost other users’ reels and often receive tons of engagement and millions of views. The new change means that these accounts may no longer get the same reach that they currently do, as the platform works to amplify the original creator instead.

Alongside the announcement about prioritizing original content, Mosseri also touched on two recent launches: product tagging and enhanced tagging. Earlier this week, Instagram announced that product tagging, which was previously only available to creators and brands, is now available to all U.S. users with public accounts. Now, all U.S. users will be able to tag products from businesses that are set up for Instagram Shopping. The company says the expansion will make it easier for people to discover products from people they follow and for businesses to grow their audience on the platform.

As for the enhanced tags, Instagram launched those earlier this month. They aim to make it easier for creators to receive credit for their work. Instagram says the enhanced tags allow users to share and view a creator’s specific contribution to a photo or video post. The creator’s self-designated profile category specifying their role will be displayed within the tag. With these new tags, creators will be able to tag other creatives within their posts as a way to give them more exposure for their work.

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