How to hack any algorithm and stay a head

Over the years of working with and trying to understand various platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and so on, I've noticed one crucial thing when it comes to how these platforms use their algorithms to boost user generated content. 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying this method I'm going to share with you is 100% accurate, but I do have some evidence to back up my hypothesis.

Be an early adopter of a platforms new feature

Yes, that's the secret to hacking an algorithm on any platform.

Let me explain.

Take any platform where the users are the ones generating content, it could be YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and so on. When they launch a new feature, they always want the users to actually use that new feature.

Making people use a new feature is not easy. People like the true and tested and shy away from anything that changes the experience they've come to love.

That's why any platform needs to (in some cases) give a boost to anyone who actually uses the new feature, to spread it to an even wider masses.

That boost can come in many forms, but it's typically seen as a boost in visibility, a.k.a. preferred by the algorithm.

By being one of the first to actually spend time and use a new feature regularly, the platform will show your content to more people. The bonus here is that not many people are using this new feature yet so you have less competition.

Example 1: Community posts on YouTube

Back in 2016 YouTube launched its community feature simply called community. With this new feature, channels could post  news or updates relating to their channel. You had to have at least 1000 subscribers to use this feature, but in 2021 YouTube opened it to more channels.

With a community post, viewers and subscribers can leave their comment, like and dislike. This brought a whole new engagement to channels.

When this feature rolled out to everyone, there was quite a bit of talk surrounding the impact a community post had. Apparently if someone wrote a comment on a post, that would simply double the traction and spread the post even more.

These posts were originally meant for people who watch the channel, but the posts would also show up to people who weren't avid viewers of the channel.

You can watch video of The Spiffing Brit explaining how he boosted his channel with this feature here:

Example 2: YouTube Shorts

Another fairly recent feature is YouTube Shorts. Similar to TikTok, YouTube shorts are short form vertical video where the user swipe up to see a new video being presented to them.

The algorithm on YouTube Shorts was previously the same as the normal YouTube algorithm as explained by Todd Beaupre, a director at YouTube who is in charge of the algorithm. Now, the Short algorithm is separate from the rest of the platform.

Again, the channel called The Spliffing Brit explains how he ran an experiment with a completely new channel and managed to get an astonishing 31 000 views on its second Short. That's well above what a new channel can expect to get on a longer form video in terms of views.

Another evidence that YouTube will heavily promote any new feature they add.

Example 3: Instagram Reels

Okay, so far I've just mentioned one platform, but how about other social media platforms?

Instagram started as an app where users could share their photos, but as soon as TikTok started to become popular, Instagram had to change their tactic.

Instagram then introduced reels, videos in the vertical format, often short and snappy.

That was back in 2020. Now, you see reels all over your Instagram feed, often from profiles you haven't even interacted with. 

It's obvious reels are pushed hard by Instagram and with reels getting 22% more interaction on Instagram than standard video posts it's no wonder this is happening.

Conclusion on how you can hack any algorithm to stay a head

Even though I cannot say with absolute certainty that using new features added to a platform will give you ad advantage with its algorithm, there are a lot of evidence showing that it will.

Social media apps and other user generated content platforms needs people to use a feature they've spent months, if not years on developing. 

By giving anyone who use that feature an extra boost will also expose this feature to everyone else using the platform, therefore creating a chain reaction.

You can simply hack any social media platform by simply using any new feature and gain organic visibility.

Try this hack whenever you see an opportunity and let me know if it works for you.

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