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Instagram Algorithm
01 Dec

Similar to Facebook, users now have to witness an Instagram algorithm change frequently. When it comes to the Instagram algorithm, it has one objective, to help you stay longer on the app and get you content that keeps you hooked and remain longer on the app. If you are running a business online or plan to work as a social media/digital marketer, you cannot do without knowing about the latest Instagram algorithm update.

Instagram is focused on improving the user experience and keeping you engaged on the platform by showing you content you can engage and relate with. If you understand how the Instagram algorithm works, you can successfully craft a strategy that helps you increase your visibility and grow followers.

The Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm is a fusion of different factors that assist the platform in determining the posts that should make it to the top of the user’s feed and the bottom. Even though you put all into your content and ensure that it is perfect with the right picture angle, excellent video quality, and smart hashtags, you still have to know what the latest Instagram algorithm is and how it works.

The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that rank content on the platform and determines the content that displays on the feed, their order, and on all of the users’ feed, Reels, Explore, and hashtag pages. The platform carefully analyzes every piece of content posted on the forum.

Instagram itself says that every part of the app uses an algorithm of its own. Instagram’s Feed algorithm varies from the algorithm of the Explore page. Reels use a different algorithm from Explore. All the algorithms differ because how users usually interact with different parts of the app varies.

Whenever you open Instagram, the algorithm gets to work. When a user opens Instagram, the platform combs through everything and checks for relevant content to show you and in what order. First of all, it will take a look through all the available content instantly and then decide:

  • The post at the top of the newsfeed and their order
  • The posts on Explore tab
  • The order of Reels, Stories, and Live Videos in the newsfeed

How does the Instagram Algorithm work?

Instagram’s every section considers the details of your interaction and relation with followers, your content relevancy, and the timing of your posts. Even then, the particular factors that determine the posts and stories to be shown to you as well as the Explore Tab and Reels are different.

To elaborate:

  • What is your relationship with your account followers? Do they search for you by name? Do you also follow them? Do you DM each other and leave comments on each other’s posts?
  • Is your content relevant? The Instagram algorithm also measures user attraction. And based on that presumes what an image or video contains and gives people the content they wish to see.
  • Your post timings. Newer posts appear on the feed before the older ones.

Five years ago, Instagram made it public knowledge that it would prioritize moments you care about. 

This Instagram algorithm change resembles Facebook’s changes that would keep family and friends first, the Instagram algorithm prioritizes fresh posts posted at the right time that users can relate to.

Here is how Instagram elaborates on its ranking signals:

Interest

The content you are likely to be interested in is based on your engagement and interest in similar topics.

Frequency

How often do you use the platform accounts for what will be the top posts on your feed?

Following

The number of people/accounts you follow also impacts what you see on your feed. If you follow many accounts, you would see less content from any one account.

Timelines

The recent post appears before the older ones.

Usage

The time you spend on Instagram scrolling through the feed would allow you to see everything the algorithm has to offer at the moment.

Relationship

The algorithm prioritizes content from the accounts you frequently interact with.

Over time, Instagram has continued to refine and update its algorithm.

Instagram Algorithm 2022

What is Instagram’s new algorithm? Since May, the platform has been rolling updates where the user’s photos and videos appear on Instagram in Tik-Tok format, which takes up the entire screen. One of the important parts of the latest Instagram algorithm update is that instead of pictures, users would be seeing content in the form of ads and reels.

And these can be from creators you don’t even follow, but the platform recommends to you based on your interests. The new update also faced backlash owing to its stark resemblance to the Tik-Tok format. So much so, many influencers have also called out for getting the old Instagram back, which prioritized photos instead of reels and videos from accounts they don’t even follow. Users online are pushing for a return to a chronological timeline and have clearly stated that they wish to see pictures and posts of their friends and those they follow instead of viral videos and ads. The new update has massively impacted social media influencers as well. They are also against the update and complain about how the new Instagram algorithm forces them to upload reels as it has become difficult to get engagement on their posts and pictures.

Since the beginning of this year, AI-driven recommendations and video content is more emphasized. The new update was vehemently opposed and led to the Make Instagram Instagram Again movement in July by casual users and a couple of celebrities.

Your best bet would be to craft a content strategy that gives the Instagram algorithm what it asks for. The key is creating consistent top-quality content that can easily adapt and stand up to Instagram algorithm changes in the future. Particularly, focus on reels to get more visibility on the platform. Keep them short and fun. The platform ranks them on their entertainment value. Along with that, invite interaction with the followers. Go live more. Drive them to leave more comments to boost engagement on the platform.

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