HOW DOES THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM WORK?

Find how the Instagram algorithm works. Learn how to optimise your Instagram content for max reach & increase Instagram followers. Follow the tips below. Curated by Mau, a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at eDigital.

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HOW DOES THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM WORK?

You are about to learn how the Instagram algorithm was designed to decide what you see.

The below information will demonish persistent rumours that Instagram intentionally hides or disfavors certain posts, which Instagram says isn’t exactly true.

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HOW DOES INSTAGRAM DECIDE WHAT SHOWS UP FOR ME FIRST?

Instagram uses different algorithms (not only one), classifiers, processes and thousands of signals to determine what you see in your feed and there isn’t just one algorithm that decides what shows up for you.

When Instagram first launched in 2010, Instagram was a single stream of photos in chronological order. But as more people downloaded the app and joined Instagram and more photos were shared, it became impossible for most users to be on top of all the photos shared by the people they were following, let alone all the posts they really did not want to miss out. According to the Instagram blog, by 2016, Instagram users were missing 70% of all their posts in Feed, including almost half of posts from their close connections. Therefore, the Instagram team developed and launched a Feed that ranked posts based on what you care about most.

Each part of the Instagram app – Feed, Explore, Reels – uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. Instagram has confirmed that users tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, but they want to discover something entirely new in Explore.

Instagram has revealed the “signals” it uses to surface something in your feed or in stories. Here are the “most important” signals:

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM SIGNALS

1. Information about the post. These are signals both about how popular a post is – think how many people have liked it – and more mundane information about the content itself, like when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video, and what location, if any, was attached to it.

2. Information about the person who posted. This helps the Instagram system get a sense of how interesting the person might be to you and includes signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks.

According to the Instagram blog, most people look at less than half of their Instagram feed, this means most Instagram followers won’t see your posts anyway

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3. Your activity. This helps us understand what you might be interested in and includes signals such as how many posts you’ve liked.

4. Your history of interacting with someone. This gives us a sense of how interested you are generally in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

The Instagram algorithm will then predict how you might interact with a post, such as commenting or liking it.

“The more likely you are to take any action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you’ll see the post” Instagram

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HOW DOES THE INSTAGRAM EXPLORE TAB ALGORITHM WORK?

The Instagram Explore algorithm was designed to help users discover new things (photos and videos) from people they are not following.

The Instagram Explore algorithm will find photos and videos users might be interested in.

Instagram will look at signals like what posts the user has liked, saved, and commented on in the past. Let’s say you’ve recently liked a number of photos from Sydney based Digital Marketing Agency: @eDigital. Instagram Explore algorithm then look at who else likes eDigital’s photos, and then what other accounts those people are interested in. Maybe people who like eDigital account are also into Facebook marketing. In that case, the next time you open Explore, Instagram might show you a photo or video from @facebook. In practice, this means that if you’re interested in Instagram marketing you might see posts about related topics, like Facebook marketing or digital marketing, without the Instagram Explore algorithm necessarily understanding what each post is about.

Once the Instagram Explore algorithm has found a group of photos and videos you might be interested in, Instagram then orders them by how interested the algorithm thinks you are in each one, much like how Instagram ranks Feed and Stories. The best way to guess how interested you are in something is to predict how likely you are to do something with the post. The most important actions we predict in Explore include likes, saves, and shares.

The most important signals the Instagram Explore algorithm looks at are:

  • Information about the post. Instagram looks at how popular a post seems to be. These are signals like how many and how quickly other people are liking, commenting, sharing, and saving a post. These signals matter much more in Explore than they do in Feed or in Stories.
  • Your history of interacting with the person who posted. Most likely the post was shared by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you have interacted with them that gives Instagram Explore a sense of how interested you might be in what they shared.
  • Your activity. These are signals like what posts you’ve liked, saved or commented on and how you’ve interacted with posts in Explore in the past.
  • Information about the person who posted. These are signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks, to help find compelling content from a wide array of people.

The Instagram Explore algorithm avoids showing posts that may potentially upset users or sensitive posts, for example, the Instagram Explore algorithm aims to not show content that promotes tobacco or vaping use.

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HOW DOES THE INSTAGRAM REELS ALGORITHM WORK?

The Instagram Reels algorithm primarily shows you content that will entertain you from funny small creators’ accounts you don’t follow especially.

The Instagram Reels algorithm evaluates how likely you are to watch a reel all the way through and go to the audio page (a proxy for whether or not you might be inspired to make your own reel.)

The most important signals the Instagram Explore algorithm looks at are:

  • Your activity. Instagram Reels look at things like which reels you’ve liked, commented on, and engaged with recently. These signals help the algorithm understand what content might be relevant to you.
  • Your history of interacting with the people who posted the reels you watch. Like in Explore, it’s likely the video was made by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you have interacted with them that gives us a sense of how interested you might be in what they shared.
  • Information about the reel. These are signals about the content within the video such as the audio track, video understanding based on pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.
  • Information about the people who posted the reels you watch. The Instagram Reels algorithm considers popularity to help find compelling content from a wide array of people and give everyone a chance to find their audience.

The Instagram Reels algorithm avoids recommending low-resolution or watermarked reels, or reels that focus on political issues or that are made by political figures, parties, or government officials – or on their behalf.

HOW TO INCREASE VIEWS ON YOUR INSTAGRAM CONTENT

  • Check Instagram Instagram regularly. Find patterns from your top-performing posts, as well as track new and returning visitors. It also allows you to track followers counts and growth over time. This info can help you to focus on the content that your fans want to watch.

Need Instagram marketing support or training? Contact us

Last note: Is your marketing not reaching your sales targets? Stop wasting your money on marketing that is not performing? Find how you can increase your sales with our eCom boost program!

HOW THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM

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Mau is has been meowing digital marketing for 16+ years. A certified Facebook, Google Ads, SEO specialist and keynote speaker; Mau also offers marketing strategy support & digital marketing training. Mau‘s Digital Marketing Plan & Social Media Plan templates are used by hundreds of marketers. Subscribe to Mau’s newsletter or connect on Linkedin Instagram or Facebook

Best time post Instagram Australia

Best time post Instagram Australia