How the Instagram Algorithm Works
How the Instagram algorithm works is a question that has caused tons of confusion for businesses on Instagram.
The Instagram algorithm is what decides which posts people see every time they open their feed. Ever since the controversial move to get rid of the chronological feed way back in 2016.
The good news is once you understand how the algorithm works, you can fight fire with fire and build a killer Instagram strategy to make sure that you get your posts seen and liked by your followers.
In this article, we’ll be demystifying the algorithm confusion and clearing up any rumors once and for all with information straight from the source Instagram.
In a recent series of Instagram Stories on their @creators account, Instagram finally addressed some rumors about the algorithm separating fact from fiction once and for all.
Now when it comes to how the algorithm works there are tons of rumors and most of them just aren’t true.
People get really really worked up about the algorithm and there are so many rumors things like your comments need to be a certain number of words in order to count they’re just not true so we’re really excited to see that Instagram finally set the record straight.
We’re just going to be sharing the facts about the algorithm.
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Did you know what everyone’s Instagram feed is personal to them – no two feeds look alike.
What you see on your feed isn’t just based on who you follow also on what you like and who you engage with regularly.
This is why you’ll likely see a post of your mom at the very top of your feed even though she might only have 100 followers because the Instagram algorithm basically understands that, well, she’s your mom so what you see in your Instagram feed is determined by what Instagram thinks you will care about the most this is why the stories that you watch the most well appear right at the beginning of your stories feed.
It’s also why if you go and watch a video of slime, or like a few videos of slime, suddenly your explore page will be filled with slime videos.
6 facts about the Instagram algorithm
So now, we’re going to share 6 facts about the Instagram algorithm.
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1. Comments, likes, shares, and views impact your feed ranking
Comments, likes, shares, and views really do impact your feed ranking. When it comes to your feed’s performance we’ve long suspected that the algorithm prioritizes content that receives the most engagement but with so many ways to measure engagement which one does the algorithm cares about the most.
According to Instagram the most important engagements for feed ranking are comments, likes, shares, and video post views which is really helpful to know as you plan out your content and your captions.
Although it’s not listed as a key engagement indicator at the moment the hottest engagement metrics right now is saves, especially for influencers who are working on branded content so you can think of a save as a “super-like” because it basically shows that your content is good enough and people will want to come back to it again.
2. Photos and videos are treated equally
Yes, photos and videos are treated equally, contrary to what you might have heard one type of content doesn’t really perform better over another.
The algorithm is super clever and it creates a personalized experience for each account based on what that account historically engages with the most.
So if a person regularly spends more time engaging with videos, chances are they’re going to see more video content in their feed.
So how does this explain the very common myth that videos get more engagement in the algorithm?
Well, it’s interesting for brands to note because video automatically attracts a longer viewing period because of its extended format.
Videos also get 4x more real estate on the explore page so that could be why you are seeing a boost of engagement on your videos instead of your photos and since videos perform so well from the explore page, posting videos is also a great strategy for getting more followers because it brings new people from the explore page over to your profile.
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3. Instagram algorithm is always changing based on user trends
The Instagram algorithm is powered by machine learning so it is constantly evolving based on the huge amount of data it gains every minute of every day.
Don’t worry though, anytime new verified information comes out we are the first to know.
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4. All comment lengths count as engagement
So you might have heard this rumor that comments with less than three words aren’t counted by the Instagram algorithm.
As long as interactions are authentic the reality is that all comments are taken into account even if they only contain one word or one emoji so you can stop freaking out now about what you leave as a comment and just be genuine.
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5. All account types are treated equally
Want to switch to a business profile but worried that that might affect your engagement? don’t be. Instagram has confirmed that all account types; personal, business, or creator are treated equally.
When it comes to the algorithm the algorithm serves up content based on accounts and sees who you have a genuine relationship with meaning who you engage the most with regardless of account type so we’re going to say this once more for the people on the back, switching to a business profile will not affect your posts in the algorithm.
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6. The first 30 minutes does not determine your ranking
The first 30 minutes is no longer as crucial as you might think. According to Instagram posts are now not prioritized by the algorithm, just because they get more engagement in the first 30 minutes.
Like we’ve kind of said a few times now, the algorithm will still show your post to users who regularly engage with your content which means you can still gain traction even after the first 30 minutes of posting.
But honestly, in my personal experience, you’ll probably get a pretty good sense of how your content is going to end up performing after the first hour or so.
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This is why it’s really important to post at your best times when your followers are most likely online and scrolling Instagram.
So there you have it those are six facts straight from Instagram explaining how the Instagram algorithm works.
The next time that you hear an Instagram rumor that’s false be sure to drop your knowledge and set them straight.
Knowing exactly how the algorithm works is a huge advantage for anyone looking to grow their following and build a business on Instagram do you want to get your post seen by more people on Instagram this year?
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