Instagram hack supposedly fools the algorithm to boost engagement

It’s becoming harder and harder to stand out on Instagram, especially with a billion monthly active users and the recent disabling of Likes. And back in 2016, the popular app started using an algorithm that ordered the photos you show; It was a big change from the simple chronological feed that had been used since the start. However, if you’re no longer happy with the reach and reactions your photos receive on Instagram, there’s a rumoured trick you may want to try to boost engagement.

Though unverified, illustrator Mariana Avila has been testing out a theory by social media influencer Courtney Quinn that promises to boost a user’s Instagram impressions — and it seems to work.

Your engagement rate on Instagram is one of the best measures of how well you’re marketing yourself or your brand. This valuable metric is calculated by factoring in the number of comments, likes, and shares that your content receives relative to your follower count; In many ways, your engagement rate can be even more important than your number of followers.

Courtney, who has over 564,000 followers, wrote in a now-deleted post that Instagram appears to prioritize posts that use the app’s built-in filters. However, it appears that you don’t have to make your work look ultra-hipster in order to boost your posts’ impressions. She explained that she would normally add approximately two-percent of an Instagram filter to her pictures — which she says doesn’t really alter the photo but helps boost engagement. 

While this trick hasn’t been verified, people have responded to both Mariana and Courtney’s tweets reporting that the trick seems to have worked for them.

“I’ve done 2% of ‘Lark’ on my last two posts and I can see [accounts] that I haven’t seen in a long time engaging with my posts,” one follower tells Courtney.

Instagram hasn’t confirmed if using its own filters will actually expand a post’s reach, but there’s really no harm giving it a go, is there? If you want to give this trick a shot, make sure you apply an Instagram filter to your photo before posting it. And if you don’t actually want the filter to affect the look of your photo, tap the filter a second time to bring up the filter strength adjustment slider and set it to something like 2% as Courtney suggests.