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Are you scared of the Instagram Algorithm? Do you feel like destroying or beating the hell out of it! 

Nooo!!! It’s not that arduous. Once you understand how it works, you can create content that’s optimized for it… Do you think you need a million likes or followers to be successful? All that matters is for your business to have sufficient goals and along with you constantly and consistently need to hit them with Instagram. 

The algorithm, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, talks about is actually not just one algorithm. It’s actually a mix of — a bunch of algorithms, classifiers, and processes — all part of AI and machine learning — that determine what content appears when you use the app. 

Not just this, Instagram’s features, including Feed, Explore, and Reels, all have their own algorithms. 

Ahhhh….!!! 😛 Forget what I said, just remember if you are looking to know how the Insta Algo’ works, consider that a lot happens inside to show you the content that you see. 

Did you know that, when Instagram started out just as a small-time photo-sharing App, it had very few users and notably less content, and then a very simple reverse-chronological algorithm worked? People have actually missed out on a large portion of posts/shares in their feed as the App grew, says Instagram. And this was all before the small photo-sharing app transitioned into a one-stop-shop for entertainment. Now, IG Algo uses Signals from its users to find out what’s going on to keep you updated or rather more informed and keep you more interested in the platform. 


Instagram Algorithm

To keep you engaged and keep you scrolling on the platform, IG is gonna do whatever they can do. Instagram in general, separated its algorithm into 3 sections, Feeds and Stories, Explore and Reels. Each feature’s algorithm takes a separate set of signals and uses them to predict if you’d engage with a post. The posts that you see are ranked using these signals, which determines the order they appear on your app screen. 

On the other hand, if the signals determine that you would comment, like or interact with the post, it will rank the posts higher in the timeline and show up closer to the top of your feed. If you comment on a person/creator’s posts consistently, there is a qualitative chance that you will keep seeing their posts at the top of your feed. On the other hand, if you pass by someone’s post without engaging, IG ranks their posts limitedly for you and their posts may not pop up often.

According to IG, the key signals for Feed and Stories are: 

  • Information About the Post: Info about the posts, such as popularity, time of posting, type of content it shares etc. 
  • Information About the Creator / Person: Who posts determine if you’d enjoy the content from the specific person/creator. 
  • User Activity: How you engage yourself to content on IG. 
  • User History: How you engage with content from particular persons/creators. It also determines if you comment, like, follow or interact with a particular person. 


Though the signals are pretty similar for the ‘Explore’ feature, the biggest difference is that there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t interacted with the accounts that posted the content before. 

So in short, the IG Algorithm uses information about your engagement with the posts that you have interacted with in the past to suggest recommendations for content you might enjoy. Not just this, IG may also recommend you content based on what users similar to you engage with. For example, if you follow and like posts from a creator dedicatedly posting content on cooking, you might see recommendations similar to it under the explore tab. 

The Reels algorithm is, again, similar to the feed & Stories and Explore, that we’ve mentioned. According to IG, the important signals for Reels are: 

  • Your Activity: That focuses on the Reels you’ve shown interest in. 
  • Your History: That focuses on your interacting with the posts a person posted, although there is a fair chance, you may not have interacted with the creator before. 
  • Info On The Reel: That includes the IG music used in the reel and the video’s popularity. 
  • Info On The Person: That is the Popularity of the creator. 

We hope, by now, you would have understood the basics of how Instagram works. But if you still find difficulty in getting in-depth, we are always here to help. You can reach out to our executives through our Contact Us page, and someone from your team will get back to you to help you reach your goal.