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Question about the Power of Likes on Instagram

Discussion in 'Instagram' started by bmanfacts, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. bmanfacts

    bmanfacts Junior Member

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    I was curious with all the changes to the instagram algorithm, which kind of instalikes matter the most to get the maximum reach (or explore)?

    For example, does a like from a follower matter more to get more reach amongst followers? Do non-follower likes get you closer to explore more than from followers? Does an account with more followers/engagement have more power in maximizing your reach (top tags, explore)?

    (addon question thanks to @chad2320 for making me think of it) Does the engagement rate matter for maximizing reach/ explore? (For example, does an account with 250 followers but with 100 likes/photo get to explore before an account with 500 followers with 100 likes/photo?)

    I feel that its been discussed on this forum in parts of posts but I don't think the topic has been centralized. (if there has been another post about this discussion, feel free to link it/them so we don't discredit others contribution to the discussion. I've looked to see if there were other posts intended to be like this but have lucked out so its possible I didn't look hard enough. But this is a good backup incase I was right)

    All this info matters I think for how one chooses to grow their account/maximize the reach of their accounts. So all input is well appreciated for myself and the other users seeking to grow their accounts.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  2. chad2320

    chad2320 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I have noticed that about 3/4 of the accounts I set up now are being spoon fed likes from I guess you guys here on the forums bots. My new accounts first posts will get 50-70 likes per image even though I only have 10 followers. One account got 800+ likes on one post on the second day the account was live with less than 50 followers.

    I have noticed these accounts grow 2-3x faster than my other accounts in terms of followers as well.

    I have noticed a trend that posts on my accounts (all under 2k stll) that hit 100 likes, will have a chance to be on the popular page. But the quality of the post obviously determines it success, so they will get between 200-1100 likes total. I dont think I have any posts in the higher end of 100-200 because around 100 is when they hit the popular page.

    I always use 30 relevant hashtags in the comments for my posts.
     
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  3. bmanfacts

    bmanfacts Junior Member

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    Thanks for the insight, reminded me of a question I had about the engagement rate of an account affecting its chances of reaching explore. I've seen accounts with low amounts of followers reach explore before an account with a higher follower count when both accounts have the same amount of likes per photo. I wonder if that plays a role in maximizing reach
     
  4. chad2320

    chad2320 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    From what I can tell my engagement rate hasn't affected anything. However my accounts are still to young to tell probably. I have had engagement rates as high as 1000% on my newers accounts, and 100-300% on my accounts over 1000 followers. No huge differences so far.

    I use websta for account stats and for creating custom feeds with all my accounts posts.
     
  5. dami3n

    dami3n Regular Member

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    Seriously, instagram is the only social system im struggling to understand why it does the things it does. I have a few accounts. Now I have tried gaining followers over the past 6 months and grown some large accounts (30k+) as well as plenty of small ones. I don't have problems gaining followers or likes it's just time consuming.

    My problem is the way the system works. I have one account with 12k followers, its an average size account and gets a lot of traffic to the site linked to it. Now the strange thing about this account is that i post pictures with no hashtags. But one picture goes viral with 5k - 25k likes in a matter of minutes. Where as other photos only get 100 - 200 likes.

    Everything is now organic on this account it's quite odd as to what makes a picture featured.

    I have some accounts with around 5 - 9k followers and they never feature at all they get around 200 - 500 likes per pic where as another account hat was just videos had around 100 - 200 per video with over 200 videos except one with over 50,000 views... it's odd especially since i posted the same video the week before!
     
  6. colorme

    colorme Supreme Member

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    Are the images posted from the 12K account original by you, or reposted?
    Sometimes, IG gives more juice to originals than reposted photos, but I've also seen where a large, 1M+ account, will repost a photo and get 1,000 times more engagement than the original image owner got on their account.

    I've also seen where many accounts, and I do mean many, repost the same photo on over 100 accounts. Sometimes on the same day, other times days apart. I'd guess people may like the first times they see the photo, but after a few days, won't even care for it, even when seen on other large accounts.
     
  7. bmanfacts

    bmanfacts Junior Member

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    I see. Yeah it can vary for sure. Thanks for sharing that.

    It's a constantly changing system. There have been times when I would have posts randomly blow up for 1.5k likes and 50+ comments when I only averaged a 100likes and comments a picture. Yet those times have passed and the most I can get is an extra 300-400 likes from a blown up post.

    When you had the one picture going viral with 5k-25k likes did you have any likes applies/bot activities that helped those likes come?

    I haven't played around with videos yet but I'm aware they can get you to explore way faster.

    I guess it becomes familiar with reposted photos fast. I wonder how fast that happens then. Have you experienced this for yourself?
     
  8. tetsu2323

    tetsu2323 Registered Member

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    Number of like+comment within 60 mins of time posted X Size of accounts that like+comment within 60 mins of time posted X Quality of your post = ↑ % to hit Explore

    Doesn't matter if engagement came from a follower or not, but accounts with more engaged followers, will get more likes within 60 mins, compared with small accounts or accounts full of fakes

    It's not complicated, just difficult

    In my opinion
     
  9. bmanfacts

    bmanfacts Junior Member

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    Great insight. Did you get this from insider knowledge or from your own experience? I think I've heard something along the baseline of engagement within the hour and currently play around with the concept of powerful accounts engaging but never really confirmed as the best chance at hitting explore.

    My question (if you don't have an answer to this it's fine but) what goes into considering the quality of the post? Is it the amount of relevant engagement (accounts in or interested in the niche)? Or some other metric?
     
  10. tetsu2323

    tetsu2323 Registered Member

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    All from my own observation.

    Quality of post/content is the biggest X factor. It depends on your niche and, how well you know what and why people like a specific photo/video.

    That's why you need to be in a niche you're interested in.

    Don't repost just because a big account reposted and received a lot of likes for it.

    Too many people(mostly those under 30k) spend too much time theorycrafting and blaming Instagram algorithms while the quiet ones who are busy looking for good content, ends up growing faster.
     
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  11. Freelancer_83

    Freelancer_83 Junior Member

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    I too want to know the power of likes on instagram.I am unable to create account on instagram.Always getting error.
     
  12. KarenMiller

    KarenMiller Registered Member

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    I'm pretty good at reconstructing algorithms from their output, and this is what I can concluded from running my 100k real organic followers account that posts only original content:

    Displaying to your followers:
    When you first post, IG will display your post to a [semi] fixed percentage of your followers to test their reaction. Based off this initial test, it decides what percent of your followers to continue to display the post to. I do not know the exact value of this percent of followers for the initial test, but it is very very small. If the post completely flops with this test group, it is effectively dead now. If it does way better than the average IG post, its going to then be shown to a much larger percent of your followers.


    Displaying to non-followers (explore page: recommended posts, video channels, etc..)
    This one is more tricky, and most people don't get this. It's also easier to explain in terms of what posts a user will see, rather than which users will see your post. Lets say that you only follow 3 accounts... these are 3 big celebrity accounts with millions of followers. All three of them like a post. This post is going to be recommended to you. Now lets instead say that you still only follow 3 account, but they are just your random friends who have no influence whatsoever. If all 3 of them like a post, it has the exact same impact on the likelyness that IG is going to recommend this to you. The reason reason that likes from big accounts have such a large impact is simply the fact that they have this effect on all their followers, which is much bigger than your 3 random friends... and with larger followings, there is a much greater chance of follower overlaps. Basically every post has a value for "number of people I follow that liked this post". IG will display to you the posts with the highest values.


    This isn't exact, as there are some additional modifiers, but for the sake of a big picture view of a post's success, this is it.

    Also, I used the word 'like' in this post pretty loosely. For video posts, a view is almost identical to a like. A comment is worth something between 5 and 30 likes.. not sure on exact value, but waaaay more than a simple like.

    EDIT: Just one little clarification re: explore page: So basically if a bunch of accounts with only millions of fake followers all like a post, it has zero effect, because IG would just then recommend that post to those fake followers that don't even interact with their feed.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  13. walwus

    walwus Junior Member

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    @KarenMiller - Excellent explanation. That's how I figured it worked too, though i could never put it into words. I wish big accounts sold powerlikes and comments, but I can't for the life of me find any that do that. At least not publicly.
     
  14. rodol

    rodol Regular Member

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    NICE! well done! great explanation
     
  15. MightyMu

    MightyMu Regular Member

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    I agree with most of it, but not the 60 minutes part. On one account I only post once per day. (average 1,5-2k likes) After 8 hrs the photo had around 800likes and suddenly it hit explore page. in the next 2,5 hrs it had around 2k likes. It happens more often to me lately... It is a bit frustrating though, as the like really start slowly.

    EDIT: I also have a smaller account (3,5K) the first hour it gets like 40 likes, but some end up with 1-2k likes after 24hrs. I like the photos with my 2 main accounts, but it obviously takes longer than 60 min to hit explore. At least in my case :)
     
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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  16. MightyMu

    MightyMu Regular Member

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    Thanks for the explanation... I guess my accounts (may be it is my phone?!?) are screwed at the first part... I have a 90k account, which has an engagement of around 4-5%. But it takes like the full 24 hrs (sometimes even way longer), to hit the engagement. It takes for this account like 3-4hrs to hit 1% engagements, which is really weird to me. Do you may be know more about this?
     
  17. Sakota95

    Sakota95 Newbie

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    Thank you very much for your post. Interesting to read it.
     
  18. tetsu2323

    tetsu2323 Registered Member

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    Not saying it takes 60 mins to hit explore, but the number of likes and comments received within 60 mins of time posted will either decrease or increase the probability of hitting explore.

    Most of us in engagement groups post within minutes/seconds before the list drops, to maximize the likes and comments received within a short period of time. Maybe the window is bigger but 60 mins is a good cut off point.

    I can already tell how my well posts will do, based on the first 60 mins.

    The faster it hits explore, the more followers you'll get.

    There are times that you'll hit explore many hours later, and you'll get more likes, nice Insight but not that many extra followers.
     
  19. bmanfacts

    bmanfacts Junior Member

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    Couldn't agree more. Especially the part with picking a niche you are interested in. Thanks for your insight

    I would consult other posts in this forum to help with that. Pretty unfortunate.

    My friend this is brilliant. Excellent share. This is very clear and easy to follow. Do you think this will be the way it will be for the future of instagram or just what is the trend right now? To me that sounds pretty consistent with a process that will work regardless of minor algo changes.

    Also with your edit, so you think its important that if powerful accounts like your post that it's relevant accounts and not just powerful accounts from generically relevant niches (or distant from your content)?

    Follow up to the comment value, do you think it factors in what kind of comments? I remember trying comments and auto-commenting out within a group and I don't think it did much to help my reach.

    I'm curious to see the response to that one.

    What niche allows that to happen to accounts of 3-5k? Lol I've only had that happen on my account of that size once. Interesting though!

    Given this (and the fact sometimes I use groups to maximize this 60 minute window) do you think that using groups hurts normal follower reach but increases chance of reaching a new audience via explore discovery? Almost asking if giving up organic likes from followers is worth it to gain new followers. Interesting to see a response to that
     
  20. feelthefusion

    feelthefusion Newbie

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    Likes will essentially get your posts noticed in the explore section