Understand Instagram Algorithms: Unlocking the 4 Big Secrets Behind Your Feed

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could understand how Instagram algorithms work? You know, those things that decide what shows up on your feed?

Well, we know you might be curious about that, so in this article, we’re going to share some information straight from Instagram to understand Instagram algorithms. It’ll help you know more about how this popular social media platform works. But before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about its history.

The Beginning About Understand Instagram Algorithms Work

Instagram started in 2010. Back then, the feed was simple and showed photos in the order they were posted. But as more and more people joined Instagram, things got complicated. The people in charge realized they couldn’t show everything to everyone. So they changed how the feed worked.

This caused confusion. Social media marketers and small business owners didn’t know how to make their posts seen. In June 2021, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, shared some information about how the algorithms work. He told us things that we thought were true but turned out to be wrong.

Since then, Instagram has made more changes and improvements. So it’s a good idea to check out the updated version they released on March 31, 2023.

Having a clear understanding helps you know how to get more people to see and like your Instagram posts. In this article, we explain difficult things in a simple way. So let’s jump right into the topic.

What is the Instagram Formula And How Does it Work to Rank Content?

The Instagram rules are called algorithms. They decide what order things show up on Instagram.

You might have heard the word “algorithms” instead of “algorithm.” That’s because there isn’t just one. Instagram uses many different algorithms, classifiers, and processes to make things personalized for each person and put them in the right order.

These algorithms are used in different parts of Instagram, like the Feed, Stories, Explore, Reels, and Search. They change based on how people use each section. Let’s look at different parts of Instagram. Stories are for seeing updates from your best friends. Explore helps you find new and interesting things. Reels are for watching fun videos.

Instagram has also added some cool features. You can make a list of your closest friends, choose favorites, and follow people you like. These things make your Instagram experience special. Instagram wants you to stay on the app and have a good time. They want to show you things you’ll like and enjoy.

There are six important things you should know that influence what you see on Instagram:

Instagram wants you to spend a lot of time on its app. They want you to keep using it. One way they do this is by showing you more of the stuff you like and want to see.

  1. Instagram learns about your interests by looking at what you’ve done on the app before. They see what posts you’ve liked, commented on, and saved. They also look at the accounts you interact with a lot. Posts that match your interests will show up higher in your feed.
  2. Instagram pays attention to how popular a post is. They look at how many likes, comments, shares, and saves it gets. The more people interact with a post, the more likely it is to show up in your feed.
  3. If you talk to someone a lot on Instagram, their posts will be shown more to you. Instagram knows who you are close to and shows their posts more.
  4. Instagram looks at how you use the app. If you spend a lot of time on a certain kind of post, they’ll show you more like it.
  5. The app tries to show you posts that are relevant to you. They look at the words, hashtags, and pictures to see if they match your interests.
  6. Instagram wants to show you the newest posts, but sometimes they show other things first. They want to show you stuff that matters to you, even if it’s not the most recent.

How Instagram Ranks Your Feed Content

The Feed on Instagram is made just for you. It helps you see posts from your friends, family, and things you like. In the Feed, you’ll find posts from accounts you follow, suggestions for new accounts to follow, and ads. There are all kinds of posts like videos, photos, and groups of pictures.

The posts in your Feed are sorted by time, but Instagram also suggests posts based on what you’ve been doing. They look at who you’ve followed, what you’ve liked, and what you’ve been interested in. They try to show a mix of posts from people you follow and other accounts that might interest you.

Instagram thinks about a lot of things to decide what to show you. They look at the post itself, who made it, and what you like. They even pay attention to what kind of posts you watch the most. If you watch a lot of Reels, they’ll show you more Reels.

Instagram uses many signals to guess what you want to see. They look at when things were posted, where you are, how long videos are, and what’s in the post like hashtags and captions.

They also look at how people have interacted with the creator’s posts before. If people like their stuff a lot, Instagram thinks you might like it too.

The algorithms in Instagram think about all these things and decide what to show you. They look at how you’ve interacted with posts in the past and use that to predict what you might like.

There are a few important things to know about the Feed:

  • The more you like, comment, save, and share posts, the more likely you’ll see similar posts at the top of your Feed.
  • Instagram keeps track of what you do and refreshes its guesses based on your actions.
  • Instagram tries not to show too many posts from the same account one after another, or too many suggested posts in a row.
  • Some types of content, like spam, non-original content, and things that go against the rules, can be pushed lower in the Feed or even taken down.

If you keep breaking the rules on Instagram, they might limit your account and take away some features.

How Instagram Reels Algorithms Work

Reels are a super fun way to find new things on Instagram. They’re short videos that repeat over and over. People use Reels to share all sorts of stuff, like funny moments and cool ideas.

Most of the time, you’ll see Reels from accounts you don’t follow yet. Instagram uses special math to guess what videos you might like. Instagram also asks people if they liked the Reels they saw. They want to know if the videos were entertaining or not.

They use that information to show more videos that you might enjoy. Instagram looks at a few important things to decide what Reels to show you:

  • They see how you’ve liked, saved, shared, commented on, and interacted with Reels before. That helps them know what kind of videos you might like.
  • If you’ve interacted with the person who made the Reel before, that tells Instagram you might be interested in their videos.
  • They look at the Reel itself, like what it looks and sounds like, and how popular it is.
  • Instagram looks at the person who made the Reel too. They check how many followers they have and how people engage with their stuff.

All of these things help Instagram pick the Reels that you’ll enjoy watching.

How Instagram Stories Algorithms Work

Instagram Stories are a special way to share photos and videos that only last for 24 hours. You can find them at the top of your Instagram feed, and you can swipe through them to see more.

Unlike TikTok Stories, which are shown to everyone, Instagram Stories can be shared just with your followers. Sometimes there are also ads in the Stories.

The algorithms that decide which Stories to show you think about three important things:

  • They look at the Stories you’ve seen before. If you watch a lot of Stories from an account, they might show you more from them.
  • They pay attention to how you interact with Stories. If you like, comment, or share a lot, the algorithms notice that.
  • The algorithms also think about your relationship with the person who made the Story. They consider if you’re close, like friends or family.

How Instagram Explore Page Algorithms Work

Explore is a special part of Instagram that helps you find new accounts and cool stuff. It’s like a grid of pictures and videos that Instagram thinks you might like. If you’re a small business or an influencer, Explore can help you get noticed by more people who might want to follow you.

So, how does Instagram decide what to show you in Explore?

They make guesses based on what you like and do on Instagram. For example, if you really love dogs and often like posts about dogs, Instagram will try to show you more dog-related stuff in Explore. They also look at what other people with similar interests are doing. If they follow certain accounts or like certain posts, Instagram might show them content from those accounts too.

Every time you watch a video or like a post in Explore, Instagram learns more about what you like and uses that to show you more things you might enjoy. Here are some things that Instagram considers when ranking content in Explore:

  • They look at how many people like, comment, and save posts. If a lot of people are doing that, it’s a sign that the content is popular and might show up higher in Explore.
  • They pay attention to what you do in Explore like if you like, save, share, or comment on posts. They use that to show you similar content.
  • If you’ve liked or engaged with a certain account before, Instagram might show you more content from that account because they think you’ll be interested.
  • They also think about the account itself, like how many people interact with it. If a lot of people engage with an account, Instagram might show more of their content.

All of these things help Instagram decide what to show you in Explore.

Next Question: Do Hashtags Work on Instagram?

We get asked this question a lot, and our answer is always YES! Hashtags are awesome on Instagram and they really help. Instagram even tells us to use hashtags in their guidelines.

You can use hashtags in different ways on Instagram, like in captions, videos, Reels, and Stories. If you want lots of people to see your posts and you want them to be interested in what you share, using hashtags is the way to go.

Ready to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithms and Dominate the Digital Landscape?

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Ditttos Agency
Ditttos Agency

With a rich history dating back to 2014, Ditttos as a content creation agency has established itself as a premier provider of content creation, branding identity, and video services. Our mission is to empower businesses to strengthen their online presence and engage effectively with their audience through our expert solutions.

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