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New Instagram Feature Helps Users Clean Up Their Following List

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Instagram is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to group their following list into different categories.

The new “Following Categories” feature groups the accounts you follow into lists such as:

  • Accounts you see most often
  • Accounts you least interact with
  • Accounts sorted by earliest to latest followed

Instagram uses data from the past 90 days to create these categories. In calculating interactions, Instagram measures user actions such as liking posts and reacting to stories.

By introducing Following Categories, Instagram aims to help users ensure the content shown in their feed remains relevant.

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson says:

“Instagram is really about bringing you closer to the people and things you care about – but we know that over time, your interests and relationships can evolve and change. We want to make it easier to manage the accounts you follow on Instagram so that they best represent your current connections and interests.”

In other words, Instagram users can filter out the noise from their feed by reviewing these new Following Categories.

For example, users may find some of the ‘most shown’ accounts in their feed are also accounts they don’t interact with very often.

Knowing this, users may decide to unfollow some of the ‘most shown’ accounts so they’ll end up seeing more relevant content in their feed.

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Impact for Marketers

It’s too early to tell, but this feature has the potential to lead to many lost followers. Users may end up purging their following list if, after reviewing their Following Categories, they discover the accounts shown most often aren’t particularly engaging anymore.

Looking at this a more positive way – if users trim down their Following list it could lead to more engagement as well. Users will see more content from the accounts they really care about, and have more opportunities to engage with them.

Either way, as a marketer, the launch of this feature is important to take note of if you measure changes in total followers and engagement from month to month.

To access these new Following Categories for your own account, just open the Instagram app and navigate to your profile. Tap on “Following” and you’ll see the option to group the accounts into different categories.

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

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