Instagram Told Us How Their Algorithm Works

The good news this week is Instagram shared some insights into how they rank content that is useful to all of us whether its your personal or business account. To save you having to read it all, we put the best bits here.

Instagram Has Multiple Algorithms

Yep it is true, but the simple way to remember it is this:

“People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, use Explore to discover new content and creators, and be entertained in Reels.”

For more specific info on each section:

  • Feed – They almost gave us the step-by-step process for ranking: recency of post, whether or not you follow the poster, other things you might be interested in, post metrics (likes, shares), the topic of the post, the relevancy of the poster and then your interaction history with poster. Takeaway: post regularly so you surface more and really work on curating your topics and style.
  • Stories – You can see yourself that this is based on people you interact and watch the most, how much you interact with that account, and how important your guessed relationship is. Takeaway: they are biasing accounts to actual people here so your brand has to be really sticky to get featured at the front.
  • Explore – They don’t explicitly say it but this is your interests feed and shows you posts of things it thinks you are interested in. The interesting bit hear is this quote: “Most of the content you’ll see in Explore is from people you don’t follow.” So this comes down to your post interactions and how relevant you are to that particular topic. Takeaway: If you are chasing down followers or a new audience, your best performing content will be surfaced here, and probably where hashtags become important.
  • Reels – This is just about fun and once again they will tell you this is mostly content from people you don’t already follow. There is only really two metrics here: reel engagement and relevancy of the poster to your account and interests. Takeaway: People are looking for fun and not followers here – keep that in mind.