It’s not news that everyone has been complaining about the drop in engagement for quite a while now. It’s been going on since the beginning of this year, when Instagram released the new feed that got rid of the chronological order. How does this affect engagement? Well, there are a couple ways.
Death of the Chronological Feed
First off, when you post a photo, your users who are online may not necessarily see it right now. Also, the delay between posting and having the follower actually see it may discourage engagement. If you see a post 4 days after it was posted, how inclined are you to comment now, vs. if you had seen it immediately when it first posted? To some, seeing it days later just makes the post seem outdated and irrelevant at that point. So as you can see, those are just a few of the problems that the un-chronological feed poses.
Instagram Removes API Access
Here’s another explanation of why you may be seeing a drop in engagement:
Earlier in April 2018, Instagram quietly started removing API access to many popular apps that could show us advanced analytics, automate liking/commenting, and more. Although they had officially announced they would be ending these services later in the summer, it seems like they caught the world off guard when they started this process months earlier. Apps that used bots to auto-like and auto-comment are not able to operate properly without the API, and are basically useless now. Since people have to do all these actions manually again, obviously the volume isn’t going to be as high before, and you’ll notice a drop in engagement in your posts.
The “New Normal”
While the drop in engagement initially felt like a bit of a blow and was discouraging, I’ve come to accept it as the “new normal”. I’m not going to keep letting these past numbers hover over my head when it isn’t as easily attainable anymore. Back when I was around 3,000 followers and when the algorithm hadn’t change yet, I could easily get about 700 likes on a post. Nowadays, I’m almost at 5,000 followers and my new normal is around 500. Does it seem significantly less now? Yes, but these algorithm changes has clearly redefined the average likes on a post, so I’ve come to accept that mine (and everyone else’s) likes just won’t be the same as the used to be. And that’s TOTALLY OKAY! Just keep focusing on creating amazing content that your followers and new people will love, and continue being an active part of the Instagram community. If you do this, Instagram will reward you and prioritize your stuff over other’s, and you’ll continue to grow.