Here we want to make a clarification: many people who use these methods to increase the reach of their accounts DO NOT KNOW that these practices are not allowed by the platform and that they are illegitimate. Most people do not consider what they are doing wrong, and unfortunately their accounts are affected by the algorithm, the opposite of what they are looking for.
Instagram Pods: Upload your interaction through groups?
These user communities on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram, and even in Facebook groups, emerged with the 2018 Instagram algorithm change. When the posts in the “explore” section began to appear first based on the level of engagement and not on chronological appearance. This change puts users who already have interaction from their followers in the top section and relegates small accounts that do not get it in their posts.
In order to circumvent this new function, groups were created (from a few members to thousands) where, through a system of rules, the participants obtain interaction in their contents in exchange for returning it.
Initially this was helpful in increasing the visibility of small accounts in the explore section of the app, but Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm was modified over time to identify “non-legitimate” interactions.
Belonging to these groups requires a lot of time, since if the interaction is not returned to other users, they will expel you from it. In addition, your engagement will always come from the same accounts, which will be very evident both to the platform and to your users.
Another of the disadvantages of using Instagram Pods is that by always interacting with the same accounts, they will be prioritized in your feed and explore section, so you will lose visibility of the users that really matter to you, such as competitors in your field or clients. potentials.
Engagement Bait on Facebook. How to “trick” the algorithm by forcing it to interact.
The “interaction lures” or engagement bait, are practices carried out on the Facebook platform to increase the interaction in the publications and thus be shown with higher priority to users. It is about ordering visitors to perform some action such as a comment, a “I love” or share on the profile.
This practice was highly effective at first, since it managed to “fool” the platform’s algorithm, because the number of interactions automatically raised the priority with which the content was displayed to new users.
Over time, the application considered that these practices lowered the quality of the content shown to users, since they did not denote a genuine conversation between users when commenting, nor were the new reactions of the application used appropriately ( I like it, I love it, it annoys me, etc).
That is why today engagement bait is penalized by Facebook, reducing the reach of publications or ads that “force” the user to make a specific reaction to the content.