Understanding how certain content reaches specific users can be beneficial for your business. Instagram operates off of several algorithms that you can use to your advantage. Each algorithm has its own purpose, with the intent of personalizing a user’s experience as much as possible.
The focus of Instagram’s feed and stories algorithm revolves around friends, as explore and reels introduce users to relevant topics or general interests. Instagram stated that posts through these specific algorithms are typically ranked based on what users care about most.
Algorithms all use varying types of key signals. While there are thousands of signals within Instagram’s system, the main indicators from feed and stories are:
• Information about the post, such as how popular it is, how many likes, date posted, post type, location, etc.
• Information about the poster.
• Your personal activity, such as how many posts you’ve liked or accounts you’ve followed.
• Your history of interactions.
The more videos you engage with, the more videos will be displayed to you. The more popular a post is, the likelier you are to see it. This applies to both the main feed and your stories. If you want to maximize your reach in each of these—focus on the key elements listed above.
Instagram states that feed rankings will be based on the users’ engagement history—how likely the user is to spend a few seconds on a post, comment, like, save, or tap on the profile photo. The likelier the action, the heavier Instagram weighs the action, the higher up the post will be for the user. Understanding this information can assist you with ensuring your posts become a priority for each user.
• Explore’s algorithm is focused on showing you other content that you may be used to based on who you follow and your engagement history. What users have liked, saved, shared, and commented on in the past is significant for future post development/exposure. Popularity of a post is significant in how many users it will be displayed to in explore.
• Hashtags can help improve discovery by getting your account or post in front of people searching for different or specific topics. If they engage with your posts, that increases the chance of their connections seeing your content.
• Reels are specifically revolved around what might entertain the user. The “short video algorithm” that TikTok has mastered works off of showing users a constant stream of content that is easy to scroll through—typically based on popular trends. Content and creator popularity is substantial in which reels are displayed for which users.