Instagram Algorithm

Every time a user checks their Instagram feed, the Instagram algorithm is used to assist them to find the best, most relevant material. The question is, how does Instagram figure out which content fits those requirements?

We'll look at the elements that drive the Instagram algorithm in this piece, as well as some methods for putting your content on more people's Instagram timelines.

How does the Instagram algorithm work? The 6 key ranking factors

If you're wondering why there constantly seems to be a new Instagram algorithm, it's because the algorithm customizes what appears in each person's Instagram feed using machine learning. The Instagram Explore page works in the same way: it looks at the accounts you've connected with in the past and utilizes those interactions to recommend stuff it thinks you'll like.

However, the Instagram algorithm takes into account a lot more. Interest, timeliness, relationship, frequency, following, and usage is the six characteristics that influence what you see on your Instagram feed, according to Instagram.

1. Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post

Instagram stated when the algorithmic timeline was unveiled that it displays you content that you're most likely to be interested in first:

“The order in which photographs and videos appear in your feed will be determined by the likelihood that you will be interested in the material, your relationship with the person posting, and the post's timeliness.”

Instagram analyses your previous behaviour to determine your level of interest. So, if you engage with a given genre of material more frequently (e.g., food), Instagram may prioritize content from that genre (e.g., food, restaurants, etc.) in your feed.

According to a spokeswoman for Instagram, ranking Instagram posts is not a popularity contest. Even if posts with lower engagement are more relevant to you, they can still appear at the top of your feed.

2. Timeliness: How recent the posts are

Timeliness is the next important factor in the Instagram algorithm. Instagram wants to offer you recently and, as a result, more relevant posts.

According to Thomas Dimson of Instagram, the Instagram algorithm solely re-orders new posts between your current visit and your previous visit. If you check your Instagram timeline at 11 p.m. and then again at 9 a.m. the next day, Instagram will only sort the posts that were created between your check-ins.

3. Relationship: The accounts you regularly interact with

The Instagram accounts with which you regularly connect don't want you to miss out on crucial posts from your friends and family, such as a post about a friend's engagement. As a result, content from your "best friends" is likely to appear higher in your stream.

Instagram's algorithm analyses your previous interactions to identify which accounts you interact with the most frequently to determine who your greatest friends are.

According to a spokesman for Instagram, profile searches are a factor that the platform considers when prioritizing posts in your feed.

4. Frequency: How often a user opens Instagram

The Instagram algorithm seeks to show the best posts since the user's last visit every time they open the app.

When you open Instagram once a day, you will see the posts that Instagram's algorithm considers to be the most relevant for that day. If you open Instagram every hour, on the other hand, the app will try to show you the most relevant stuff you haven't seen before.

5. Following: Content from all accounts a user follows

If you follow thousands of Instagram accounts, the algorithm will have to go through even more stuff to select what to show you each time you open the app. Users who follow a big number of individuals are likely to see less from each account, whereas users who follow only a few select accounts are likely to see more from their closest friends or favourite accounts.

6. Usage: How long a user spends on Instagram

What the algorithm shows depends on whether a person browses Instagram in quick bursts or for extended periods. If a user prefers short Instagram visits, the algorithm ensures that the most relevant posts appear first, whereas users who prefer longer browsing sessions may have access to a larger catalog of new content.

Why the Instagram algorithm is a good thing

When social media managers should be leaning into the Instagram algorithm, they try to figure out how to beat it. Let's speak about why the Instagram algorithm is wonderful for users and marketers alike, rather than sharing Instagram algorithm tricks that won't assist you in the long run.

There is always a public outcry when social media services move away from a chronological feed. However, chronological feeds aren't as useful as you may expect. “Since transitioning to a sorted feed, the typical post is now seen by 50% more followers than it was with the chronological model,” according to the Instagram creators account.

The switch to a ranked feed in Instagram's algorithm is a win-win situation. The system uses machine learning to ensure that consumers see material that they are most likely to be interested in, resulting in better-focused audiences for commercial accounts.

The Instagram algorithm is beneficial to you if you create entertaining, relevant, and timely material. When postings are arranged reverse-chronologically, it helps to bring your exceptional material in front of more people.

Instagram algorithm FAQs

Are photos or videos preferred by the Instagram algorithm?

In a nutshell, no. Instagram does not give videos or photographs in its feed any more weight. However, if data indicates that a particular user likes to engage with videos over images, that user's feed may have more video content.

Does posting too frequently impact ranking?

Instagram accounts aren't penalized for updating their feeds regularly. “We do make sure your feed feels diverse so we may break up posts,” Christina d'Avignon, an Instagram feed product designer, told The Verge.

Are business and personal accounts treated differently by the algorithm?

According to Techcrunch, "Instagram doesn't grant personal or commercial accounts more feed prominence, so switching won't boost your reach."

Will posting Stories or Live videos affect ranking?

Using Instagram Stories or live broadcasting will not affect where your content appears in the feed.

5 Ways to make the Instagram algorithm work for you

Instead of advising you how to overcome the Instagram algorithm, we'll show you how to embrace it and make the most of it.

1. Embrace the latest features

Instagram wants to encourage people to use new features, so it makes newer features more prominent in the app. It's crucial to note that this does not imply that the Instagram algorithm favors any one style of post over another. However, it does give new features a prominent position, such as putting Instagram Stories at the top of the screen or, more recently, relocating the Instagram Reels icon to the center of your menu bar.

2. Vary your post types

To successfully navigate the Instagram algorithm, you must use a range of post types, including single picture, carousel posts, IGTV, Reels, Stories, and Lives.

It's a frequent misconception that Instagram's algorithm prefers videos to images. In reality, whatever each user interacts with the most will be favored by the algorithm. If a user likes and comments on Instagram Reels more frequently than other post types, Instagram's algorithm will prefer Reels for that user.

Sharing your material in various formats allows you to reach a larger audience. It's also a fantastic way to reuse your content. Because not everyone views a video, you can make a carousel post out of it. Re-sharing feed posts in your Stories can also appeal to Instagram Stories fans.

3. Post at the best times for your business

One of the most important algorithms ranking elements is timeliness. However, there isn't a single optimal time to publish on Instagram.

You should think about two aspects while deciding whether to post:

  1. When the majority of your followers are active on the platform
  2. When they are most interested in your brand.

Emma Washington, marketing manager at the New Orleans smoothie shop The Jouxicery, got this two-pronged strategy down pat.

When the majority of its followers are online, Emma will post about promotions or news, and she will post about The Jouxicery's products first thing in the morning (about 7.30-8 a.m.) when they are most relevant to its followers' daily schedules.


4. Create a hashtag strategy

Because hashtags can be searched for and followed, including them in each post improves your chances of reaching a larger audience. Furthermore, research suggests that posts with hashtags gain more attention than those that do not.

Branded hashtags, such as #lovemylunas and #lunarunning, are an excellent way to keep your company top of mind. Not only do branded hashtags help with brand visibility, but they also make it simple to access customer-created content.

4. Focus on authentic engagement

Instagram's algorithm encourages users to interact with one another. So, rather than wasting time on Instagram algorithm hacks that only produce short-term benefits, concentrate on the relationships you form with your followers.

Take care to respond to direct messages as well as comments left on your postings. It's best if you interact with your supporters as much as possible.

However, among the likes, followers, and mention notifications on Instagram, it's quite simple to miss new comments.

Using interactive stickers on your Instagram Stories, such as polls, questions, and sliding scale rankings, is another simple approach to boost engagement. Also, don't overlook user-generated content. People are enthralled by seeing their images or videos posted on brand pages.

Customers may scream their praises by re-sharing consumer material in their Instagram Stories.

5. Use analytics to see what's working

According to Instagram, "the order of photographs and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content," as previously stated.

Digging into your Instagram analytics data is one of the finest ways to figure out what your audience likes to see and is interested in.

You may use Instagram Insights to see which of your posts has received the most engagement. If you want to be more particular about engagement data, you can arrange posts by most comments, likes, and saves.

In only a few clicks, statistics may also help you find your highest-engagement posts:

Once you've compiled a list of your most popular Instagram posts, you can begin to see what commonalities they share. Consider the following scenario:

  • What are the different categories of posts?
  • What is the creative's style?
  • What is the structure of the caption?

With this information, you can start to reverse engineer what your audience is most likely to engage with on Instagram and develop a strategy to help you get the most out of the algorithm.

Instagram’s algorithm is all about providing the best experience

You won't have to worry about Instagram updates and algorithm changes if you focus on creating relationships with your audience and providing amazing content.

“Trying to cheat the system for a short-term profit may bring a short-term benefit, but it is not a prescription for long-term success,” states the Instagram Creators account.

Make sure you're producing content that will keep your fans and community interested and coming back for more!”

Are you ready to take your Instagram marketing to the next level?


Ready to take your account to the next level?

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