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Instagram New Algorithm Update Prioritises “Sends”


  • Instagram is now prioritising “sends” — content shared directly via DMs — in its algorithm.
  • Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, advises creators and businesses to focus on making content that users would want to share with their close connections.
  • Traditional metrics like likes and comments are taking a backseat to how often posts are sent to others.
  • Instagram is rolling out a feature that shows send counts, highlighting their importance.
  • Brands need to create share-worthy content that triggers emotional responses, particularly those that inspire and bring joy.
  • House of Marketers insights for businesses and creators 
Instagram's New Algorithm Focuses on Sends

Instagram’s New Algorithm Focuses on Sends

Instagram is once again refining its algorithm, and this time the focus is sharply on “sends” and direct messages. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently emphasised in a post the need for creators to produce content that viewers are compelled to share. 


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A post shared by Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)

“Don’t force it as a creator,” Mosseri advises, “but if you can, think about making content that people would want to send to a friend, to someone they care about. It will help your reach over time.” 

This strategic pivot is in line with Instagram’s broader mission to enhance meaningful interactions as well as promoting original and creative content as also seen in their recent Reels algorithm update

Together, these changes signify a shift towards a more engaged, authentic user experience on the platform.

What Does This Instagram Update Means?

The algorithmic tilt toward “sends” indicates a shift in how Instagram measures content success. Previously, likes and comments were the gold standards for engagement; now, the ability to prompt shares directly into DMs is gaining prominence. 

This change reflects a broader emphasis on private and meaningful exchanges over public displays of engagement. To solidify this shift, Instagram is actively rolling out a new feature that displays send counts, making the frequency of direct message shares more visible to users. 

This development is a clear signal that shareable content is now a top priority. By highlighting send counts, Instagram aims to encourage creators and brands to produce content that is engaging but also worthy of being shared privately!

This strategic update is integral to Instagram’s broader mission to enhance user experiences within the app. It is designed to foster deeper connections between users and encourage a more engaged community and the rollout of send counts is a strategic move to align content creators with these goals, nudging them to focus on quality and resonance in their creations.

Implications for Businesses 

With Instagram’s algorithm now prioritising sends, brands must adapt to stay relevant. Tailoring strategies to enhance shareability will be key to maintaining visibility and engagement.

  • We recommend creating content that is share-worthy because entertaining is not enough. This can significantly increase your content’s reach.
  • Craft content that triggers positive emotions such as inspiration, joy, or admiration, referred to as ‘high dominance’ emotions in a Harvard Business Review study. These emotions are powerful motivators for shares.
  • Experiment with a variety of content formats—videos, tutorials, real-life stories, or user-generated content—to discover what best resonates with your audience in terms of shareability.
  • Incorporate interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or questions to engage directly with users, making them more likely to share the content with friends who might have similar interests.
  • Utilise Instagram’s analytics tools to track which types of content are shared most frequently. This data can guide your content creation strategy, ensuring alignment with user preferences and trends.

This shift not only affects how brands operate but also significantly impacts user behaviour, as content that resonates on a more personal level tends to drive deeper engagement. 

Implications for Users

Just like businesses and marketers, this shift towards more private and personalised interactions means users will also experience a more curated content stream, largely influenced by their network. 

  • We are expecting a move towards more personalised and curated content in your DMs, reflecting choices made by friends and peers, leading to a more tailored social media experience.
  • With a focus on sends, interactions are likely to become more private and enclosed, moving away from public comments to more personal exchanges.
  • As brands adapt by creating more shareable and engaging content, users might find themselves engaging with this content in more meaningful ways, driven by personal recommendations.
  • This algorithmic shift may encourage a focus on quality over quantity, pushing users to share content that they find genuinely worthwhile, rather than passively scrolling through less engaging posts.

By adopting these strategies, both brands and users can better navigate the changes in Instagram’s algorithm, enhancing their engagement and interactions on the platform in a way that aligns with the new emphasis on sends.

House of Marketers Insights

The shift in Instagram’s algorithm offers a prime opportunity for brands as well as creators to rethink and innovate their content strategies. As the platform emphasises sends, creating content that is not only engaging but also share-worthy becomes paramount! To make the best of the platform:

  • Focus on creating share-worthy content. We suggest designing posts that not only grab attention but also inspire viewers to share. Content that emotionally connects or provides significant value is more likely to prompt a send action.
  • We recommend developing content that resonates with positive and relatable experiences. This not only encourages sharing but also helps in building a positive brand image as users associate these feel-good moments with your brand.
  • Focus on creating uplifting and uniting messages can align your brand with these broader goals, potentially enhancing user satisfaction and fostering a sense of community among your followers.


Instagram’s algorithmic update is a significant pivot that underscores the evolving landscape of social media where private interactions are becoming as crucial as public engagements. Brands and creators must adapt to these changes by focusing on creating content that is not only engaging but also worth sharing in a more personal, direct manner.

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