Have you noticed a significant drop in your Instagram reach? Rumors persist that posts are losing more and more reach. But is it true that it’s getting harder and harder to reach your followers on Instagram?
The Fanpage Karma team analyzed the development of reach of 2 million posts from 1700 profiles over the last two years. With the social media tool Fanpage Karma, you can not only analyze and manage your own profiles, you can also create and evaluate benchmarks and relevant metrics across all social media channels.
The team examined how the organic reach per post on Instagram has developed. Organic means that it is non-paid reach, so no advertising distorts the results. Reach was additionally measured relative to the number of followers, so that despite fluctuations in the number of followers a profile has over the two years, the post reach remains comparable. What the team examined in practical terms was what proportion of followers a post reaches – and that is the comparison between the years 2020 and 2021.
A Clear Result
The result of the study is clear. Posts on Instagram reach significantly fewer followers these days. Recently, posts reached 47% fewer followers than they did two years ago.
As the graph shows, the range varies on a monthly basis. While the values in 2020 are around 25% and only seem to drop slightly. There is a clear downward bend at the beginning of 2021 and a continuous drop that follows.
Of the 1,700 profiles, only one-fifth bucked the trend and achieved more reach per post in 2021 than in 2020. The clear majority of 80% of profiles experienced a loss of reach.
Is There an Intention Behind It?
As we tried to find a cause for the drop of reach, no similarities could be found in the two groups, “losers” and “winners”. There was no correlation between the development of reach, neither for frequency of posting nor for the number of likes collected per post or even the growth in the number of followers. The winners were much more individual, particularly successful profiles. And their gains were much smaller on average compared to the losses of the others.
This suggests that we are talking about a fundamental change on the platform.
The loss can certainly be explained in part by a more natural effect. On the one hand, Instagram had to share more screen time with other platforms like TikTok or Snapchat in the last years. With every minute a user prefers to spend on another platform, the number of posts viewed on Instagram decreases.
On the other hand, the number of posts on Instagram grows. The analyzed test group published 11% more posts in 2021 than in the previous year. Stories have also become significantly more popular on Instagram, displacing traditional posts from users’ screen time.
If these were just natural effects, then reach per post would be slowly and steadily decreasing. The significant dip at the beginning of 2021 and the sharp drop since then, suggest that Instagram has made a change. It is possible that private profiles are preferred over business and creator accounts, or that certain post formats such as reels are preferred over posts. We also can’t rule out the possibility that Instagram is making more space available for paid posts in the newsfeed, forcing organic posts out of screen time.
A Reason to Worry?
But that doesn’t have to mean Instagram has become irrelevant. Post still reached an average of 16% of their followers in 2022. A great result for organic reach on social media platforms. Whether you reach or exceed these metrics with your own profile is another question. Fanpage Karma’s Performance Score reveals your reach and other important metrics at a glance. Discover how to increase your reach now!