Post-Smarter on Instagram, How The Algorithm Works

V12 Marketing - Social Media Marketing

Ever since Instagram switched from the classic chronological feed, Instagram algorithms have become the topic of several discussions and debates. 

Instagram is constantly evolving. It has introduced lots of improvements within the IG algorithm. It continues to curate and organize its feed to provide more relevant content to its users.


Let’s define the Instagram algorithm 🤳

You will often hear people refer to the Instagram algorithm as a singular idea, but there are actually many different algorithms at play.

Instagram describes it as: “A variety of algorithms and processes, each with its own function. Our goal is to maximize the quality of your experience; which we feel can only be achieved through personalized use of these tools”.

In essence, Instagram’s algorithm has one goal: to keep you on the app for a longer period of time by showing you content relevant and interesting enough for you to want to stay.

Working in social media, it is important to keep up-to-date on algorithm updates because they are constantly changing. It’s an advantage when you know what works now and how to tweak your marketing strategy accordingly so you can reach more people and gather an engaged community for your brand.


Instagram algorithms rely on three key signals 🚀

Who: Who are you interacting with on this post? If you often like or comment on someone’s content, they may appear in your feed more often.

What: The types of content you usually engage with. Depending on what type of content you usually enjoy, the algorithm will serve that particular kind to you.

When: This app decides which posts are relevant to you by taking into account when posts have been posted, and how often they are scrolled through.


Instagram algorithm for Feed and Stories 📱

Besides advertisements or stories bought by sponsors, a user’s feed and stories are typically comprised of content from their closest friends, family members, and favorite accounts. These choices are determined by what the user has already followed before. There are thousands of factors taken into account when this happens, both on the part of creators and viewers alike. The top four deciding criteria, ranked lowest to highest respectively, include:

Information about the post. This covers everything from how many likes it’s racked up to when it was posted, location, length (if it’s a video,) and more.

Information about the posting account. Instagram’s algorithm balances how interesting an account is to other people v.s. how interesting it is to a specific person. Also, Interaction with the account and its posts over the past few weeks is a significant factor here.

User activity. The algorithm considers what other posts users have liked, to match them with appropriate content.

A user’s interaction history. Does the user just like, or do they share, comment, and so on?


Instagram algorithm for Explore 🔍

The Explore algorithm is designed to help you discover new content. This means it’s much more recommendation-based than Feed or Stories; Instagram recommends posts based on what other users have saved, liked, and commented on in the past. 

From here, the algorithm ranks the posts according to its guess of how much a user will engage with them. Likes, saves, and even comments all factor into this decision.


Instagram algorithm for Reels 🎥

Reels’ algorithm is similar to Explore; it finds videos you might like and ranks them based on your interests. 

In 2022, the Instagram Reels algorithm focuses on showcasing small creators, which is an awesome thing for people who want to go viral but haven’t yet. Predictions are made about how likely a user is to watch the entire video all the way through, like it, and leave comments about how enjoyable it was – one thing in particular that stands out here is if they head over to the audio page; which implies that users will be able to make their own videos.


Now that you know how the algorithm works and how to use it to your advantage, put it into practice and start increasing those interactions.

And if you need an extra hand, remember that at V12 Marketing, we offer free consultations to help you reach your goals.


Looking to improve your social media efforts? Increase your brand’s reach and engagement with the help of our team. Get started today!