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Losing ‘Likes’: How Instagram’s Algorithm Change Is Hurting the Food Industry


If you’re someone who post pictures of food on Instagram with abandon (hi, it’s me), whether professionally or on an amateur basis, you’ve probably noticed your engagement on those posts have plummeted this year. Where you once would get a big bushel of likes with each photo, now only a fraction of hearts are coming your way on the social platform. For most people, there’s only the psychic damage of reduced online clout. But for others, the hurt is much more material.


Reacting to the rise of TikTok, Instagram recently announced it would favor video posts—or Reels—over static images, creating a dramatic shift in visibility for photos on the platform. That has caused sales to drop for many food businesses as the reach of what had been their most effective form of advertising has taken a hit. “I completely credit them for our growth—and then the algorithm changed and our sales dropped horrifyingly,” Sana Javeri Kadri, the founder of the spice company Diaspora Company, told The New York Times.

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