Photographers rejoice! Instagram algorithm to favor photos and reels equally

Instagram posts
(Image credit: Gabrielle Henderson from Unsplash)

After receiving so much backlash for prioritizing reels over photos, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri says the company now balances the two equally. In a weekly Ask Me Anything session, Mosseri answers the questions of Instagram users and this week one user asked him “Why are you completely gutting the reach of photo-based accounts?”

Rather than fabricating some lame excuse, Mosseri held his hands up and admitted Instagram has put too much weight on reels and video content recently but the company has now “rebalanced things”. This is good news for photographers who have felt the brunt of the algorithm change and struggled to reach new accounts and build increase their engagement. 

Perhaps we were too quick to think that Instagram is no longer for photographers (opens in new tab)but with all the recent changes that is very much how it seemed. The introduction of reels and most recently, rumors of notes and maps feature, the once-loved photo-sharing platform was almost unrecognizable.

Instagram reels were first launched in 2020 to replace Instagram video content. Shortly after, users started to experience a distinct difference in the number of accounts their photo posts were reaching and many started to make reels as a way to keep their engagement more consistent. For many content creators who had no interest in creating reels, it became an arduous task that put a bad taste in people’s mouths. 

Mosseri is now calling for photographers to contact Instagram if they don’t start seeing a change in their interactions. Over the last few years, Instagram has undergone several changes including reintroducing the chronological timeline (a feature that many people missed), introducing a professional dashboard so that it’s easier to track engagement and it’s extended the reels time limit to 90 seconds so that people can upload longer videos. 

Those photographers who loved making reels and experienced a big jump in their followers and reach from doing so should still benefit from them – it just means that any photo content they post should also be seen by just as many people.  

These are the best camera phones (opens in new tab) for taking photos and creating videos on the go. Check out these 12 essential mobile photography tips (opens in new tab) and start making the most out of the camera you always have on you.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.