A number of swimwear and lingerie brands have spoken out against a new policy on Instagram which is causing them to have lower engagement and, consequently, to lose money. This is due to a new algorithm change from Instagram, which is reducing the engagement of posts that it deems to be too sexy, according to WWD.
These new rules were announced by Facebook (Instagram's parent company) in April when they explained that they would be working to reduce "the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s community guidelines". It went on to explain that "sexually suggestive posts" would be limited in the exploring and hashtag sections of the app, but that it would still appear in your feed if you follow the account.
This means that accounts which post images deemed "sexually suggestive" will be less visible to accounts that don't follow them – and they are therefore less likely to be discovered by new customers, which is how a lot of smaller swimwear and lingerie brands grow their audience and sales, as Instagram continues to dominate as a source of style inspiration - and shopping.
However, it is not clear exactly how Instagram is choosing which posts are "sexually suggestive" and which are not. The algorithm has been kept private, but there are suggestions that it could relate to the amount of skin on show.
"The new policy is penalising perfectly good brands," Eva Pascoe, e-commerce director of Bluebella told WWD. "Instagram doesn’t have humans looking at the images and the algorithms cannot detect what’s provocative and what’s not."
From Harper's Bazaar U.K.