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Trick Instagram, Beat the Algorithm, Get More Likes and Comments

Tricking Instagram's fear of missing your business is key


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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

3 years ago | 3 min read

You know how much I despise hacks and shortcuts when it comes to growing on Instagram.

But I still enjoy trying to find the new obscure techniques people use to get a few extra likes and a few extra followers.

It was the follow-unfollow method a few years ago, then the engagement groups a year later, then using bots to watch millions of stories per day… Every time, these people come up with crazy methods to trick Instagram, beat the algorithm, and get more exposure than they should (or deserve? 🤔)

The latest hack I read about was different, though.

Post on Instagram, then immediately close the app for an hour or two. Resist the urge to open Instagram.

Now, that sounds silly, right? Why would that work?

Full disclamer here: I have not tried that method but I have read lots of posts on Reddit claiming that it works very well.

But why would I share a technique that I have not personally tested, especially when my whole philosophy and method rejects the idea of using hacks and shortcuts to grow?

To answer this question, let me first explain why this hack makes sense.

Instagram collects data on its users. The more someone opens the app and stays on it, the more data Instagram collects, and the more Instagram can sell this data to third party advertisers. This is the whole business model behind Instagram.

Instagram makes money on the data it collects on its users.

So Instagram has two crucial things to do:

  1. Make people open the app
  2. Make sure that they stay on it for as long as possible

To make people open the app, Instagram will send them a few notifications. To make them stay on the app, they will provide relevant content, DMs to reply to, comments to reply to, analytics to check out and analyze…

When you post a picture and leave the app, Instagram will start sending you notifications. These notifications are here to make you open the app and spend time on Instagram.

But if you resist the urge to open the app, Instagram will trick your fear of missing out by sending out more notifications. To do that, Instagram will push your content to more people, which will drive more interactions than usual. More likes, more comments, eventually more DMs.

Instagram will do that hoping that the unusual amount of notifications you get will trick you back into the app.

Now it all makes sense, right?

But does it work?

It appears to work, yes. But most importantly, I think this is a great marketing example.

When you publish content on Instagram (or any other platform, social media or not,) it is always crucial to understand the following: how is this platform making money? How do they benefit from what I am providing? How can I make sure that I provide exactly that?

When it comes to Instagram, providing content helps Instagram having content to push to its users to make sure they stay on the app once they have opened it.

The problem now, is that in 2021, the supply of content on Instagram is virtually infinite. This decreases the value of the content you post as what you post becomes easily replaceable.

But every time you post, you checking your phone every 3 minutes for the next few hours to see how many likes you got is a goldmine for Instagram. Every time you check your notifications, you scroll your feed, you reply to comments, to DMs, you might watch a few stories and a few ads.

Your uncontrolable desire to see how your latest post performed is financially profitable for Instagram.

If you cut down this supply, it will become more valuable, and Instagram will try to get you back in providing this value. The good news: Instagram can do so at a negligeable cost, by simply sending you a few notifications.

The bottom line here is that it is so important to understand how any platform works. On a deeper level. If Instagram is not naturally pushing your content, it is because that would be in your favor, but not theirs. So how can you reverse that power?

Let me know what you think (and let me know if you try this hack, I am curious to know.)

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Created by

Charles Tumiotto Jackson

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Forget about “Hacks” and obscure secrets to grow on social media → http://bit.ly/2v7Ks6q


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