How Instagram Algorithm Works

The Instagram Algorithm Revealed!

Wondering why you see what you see on Instagram?  Recently revealed is how the Instagram algorithm works. TechCrunch spoke to Instagram, who opened up for the first time about how it’s #algorithm works. No other social media platform has done this, not even Facebook. Time to explore what they said. Below are the main points and a few tips for best practice on Instagram.

✔ Interests

If a user has commented, liked or even lingered on a certain image, they will most likely encounter similar images or videos on Instagram.

TIP: If there are particular pages or post that interest you, like and comment on them. Instagram will sort out your feed and you will start seeing more of the things that you like.

✔ Relationship

If a user has frequently interacted with an account or individual, they will see more from that account more often. An example of this is tagging. 

TIP: Interact and build real relationships with your followers. This is always been best practice!

✔ Recency

No surprise there right?

However, there are additional three points that influence rankings too, which should be looked into and taken into account.

✔ Frequency

If the user opens Instagram regularly. Instagram will refresh more often and try to show you the best post since your last visit.

TIP: This is great news as users won’t miss out and as a brand, you now don’t have the pressure of posting constantly. You can now focus on posting great content that your followers will enjoy.

✔ Followed Accounts

Instagram’s algorithm will show on the feed from a wide selection of people that are followed.  This means that you might see less from specific people.

TIP: Follow accounts whose content you actually enjoy consuming and as a content producer, create content that will be enjoyed by your followers.

✔ Usage

How long you spend will determine if you’re seeing the best post or digging deeper by spending longer on any one session.

Myths Debunked

Instagram responded to the many questions asked regarding its algorithm and many of the conspiracy theories.  Such as, is shadow banning a real thing and does Instagram favour stories and live videos over other types of posts? Here are the answers from Instagram, however, TechCrunch could not verify the accuracy of these claims.

  1. Instagram will not be reversing its decision to the old chronological order, but they are listening to people who do not like the algorithm.
  2. According to Instagram, they do not hide posts in the feed. Users see everything posted if they continue to scroll down the feed.
  3. Instagram does not favour video over photo. Instead, it’s based on the types of content that people engage in. So, if a user hardly watches videos then they will see less of them in their feed.
  4. Instagram does not favour stories or live videos, contrary to common belief.
  5. Using a business or personal account makes no difference to reach.
  6. Shadow banning is not real. Instagram stated that they do not hide content where people post too many hashtags or other actions.
  7. Instagram’s algorithm does not downrank users for posting too often. Instead, it might put in other content between someone’s posts if they post one thing after the other (rapid-fire).

Social Media Examiner break down some of the key points here:

Social media is an amazingly powerful way for you to build your audience and share your message, but we need to be smart about how we do it. Comment below and let me know how you’re going to use what you have learnt about the Instagram algorithm.

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