The Instagram Algorithm Explained; Social Media Managers

The Instagram Algorithm Explained

So how does the Instagram Algorithm really work? We’ve all thought about it and have wondered why certain posts pop up in our feed or why we see more content from certain accounts than others. In this blog post, we are going to explain how the algorithm works for feed posts, stories, the Explore page, and Instagram Reels. We’re also going to share a little secret about how to “hack” the algorithm so you can get more engagement for your business or brand. 

What is the Instagram algorithm and how does it work? 

First, let’s start by learning about the famous algorithm Instagram uses. Instagram actually describes it as a “variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose. We want to make the most of your time, and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to do that.” Wait, they use more than one algorithm? Yes, you read that right. 

In simpler terms, the algorithm basically has one goal: to make you stay on the app longer by delivering content you’ll find relevant and interesting. You can use this knowledge to your advantage when it comes to reaching more users and building a larger community of engaged followers. 

Since Instagram uses more than one algorithm, it will affect all parts of the app, whether it’s in the feed posts or Reels. But the algorithms rely on three key signals: 

  • Who: If you frequently like or comment on someone’s content, you’re more likely going to see content from the account consistently. 
  • What: If you love viewing certain content, like workout tutorials or beauty content, the algorithm will continue to serve those posts to you.  
  • When: The algorithm will decide whether a post is relevant to you based on the time it was posted. It will also take how often you scroll on the app into consideration in order to pick and choose what to prioritize for you.

Overall, Instagram has already begun arranging content based on what they think viewers will most likely interact with, then uses a set of signals to help rank which posts will be shown in your feed. The best way to use the algorithm to your advantage is to know your niche and create engaging content that your viewers will enjoy seeing, then let the algorithm do the rest of the work!  

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