How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work: Do you want to know how the Instagram algorithm works to increase the audience engagement rate of your account?
They are responsible for showing you the most relevant content on your Instagram feed.
So, cracking this algorithm can really help you improve the reach of your Instagram posts and stories to a larger audience.
But before that, we will show you everything you need to know about the algorithm in order to positively impact your Instagram strategies.
What Is the Instagram Algorithm?
The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules and instructions that decides the content to be shown on your Instagram account.
In fact, the term Instagram algorithm itself signifies a number of multiple algorithms instead of a single algorithm.
All the different algorithms analyze your search history, liked posts, location, device, and many more factors to provide the posts you see on your Instagram home, stories, and explore page.
Furthermore, the Instagram algorithm also processes the various accounts that you visit or follow and displays the most relevant content for you in the best order possible. This includes the feed posts, reels, stories, as well as the explore page.
The algorithms are also modified and updated frequently according to the feedback provided by the users.
If you want to improve your social media presence as a business, creator, or for personal use, you have to be familiar with the frequent updates in the algorithm as well. So before we dive into how the Instagram algorithm works, let’s look at its latest changes in 2022.
New Instagram Algorithm Changes in 2022
For the year 2022, Instagram has made a number of major changes to its algorithm (until now).
- Following and Favorites feed options were added to Instagram home so that users can avoid the additional suggested and promotional posts in the app. Accounts can even be added to favorites where only the recently posted content of the particular accounts will be displayed. This also results in less use of the Instagram algorithm but more preference and control over the user’s feed.
- Original content that hasn’t been shared in the app to are more likely to be shown on your Instagram account
- Suggested content now focuses strongly on Instagram reels on your default Instagram home page.
- Contents from other apps are less favored. Especially content with visible watermarks from the other apps.
- The identification of the content is improved by the Instagram algorithm. This means that it can categorize them more accurately from the keywords that are used in the content.
If you open the Instagram app right now, you can easily see some of these major updates that have been implemented in the algorithm. Now let’s look at how the Instagram algorithm really works in a bit more detail.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work in 2022?
The Instagram algorithm considers three major factors for the maximum efficiency possible to provide the most relevant content on your feed.
- Account Relationship: One of the first aspects that the algorithm analyzes is the other users and account with which you’ve frequently interacted. If you interact with a particular account frequently, there are high chances that the content from that particular account will be shown to you as soon as they are posted or as soon as you open the app.The interaction may consist of likes, comments, direct messages, or even a recently followed account. And the content interaction is based on both feed and stories.
- User Interests: The Instagram algorithm also prioritizes what type of content a user is most interested in. For example, if you have followed or searched most of the accounts related to fashion, it’s most likely that you’re feed posts and stories consist mainly of content related to fashion.
- Likewise, if you like or view a number of posts related to fashion on your explore page, the suggested content on your home feed would also contain similar posts. The user’s interests are also determined by the content that you’ve viewed or liked on both feed and stories.
- Content Relevancy: As mentioned previously, the main goal of Instagram is to show the most relevant content to its users. So it carefully calculates the relevancy of each content based on your interaction history of the posts and accounts. It even considers popular content based on your location and among the accounts that you interact with to predict the relevancy of the content before it’s shown on your feed.
Apart from these factors, the Instagram algorithm also gives importance to the following signals to provide the most suitable content for your feed:
- The frequency of how often you open the Instagram app. This is very common for businesses as the accounts are mostly used to promote their products or services and customer replies.
- The follower count of the account is also taken into consideration by the algorithm. If a large number of accounts are followed by a user, there is a larger completion for the content to be shown.
- Recent posts get the most priority in most cases. Whether they are on the home feed, stories, or explore page, there’s a high chance that the content was posted within the recent few hours, minutes, or days or past few weeks respectively.
This is the general idea of how the Instagram algorithm work and what it focuses on. However, it does vary in each of the different elements of the app like feed posts, reels, stories, and the explore page. So let’s have a look at how the algorithm works with them too.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Feed Posts in 2022
Instagram feed posts are one of the first posts that you’ll be able to see when you open the Instagram app. They are shown on the default feed home page of the app and show the recent posts from the accounts that you follow.
However, as you scroll down, the Instagram algorithm displays a number of posts that it decides are most suitable for you along with suggested and promoted posts. They are based on the following signals for content relevancy:
- Post information: The post information that Instagram prioritizes is mainly the popularity of the post based on likes. The algorithm also identifies if the post is a photo or a video. Additionally, it also monitors the time the content was posted, the tagged location if it’s included, and its duration if it’s a post.
- Information about the poster: The information about the poster determines how much relevant the account is to the particular user. It also considers the frequency of the interaction and the level of engagement with the particular account.
- Interaction history: The interaction history is also prioritized when a post is shown on your feed. It usually includes the posts of the followed accounts that you most interact with.
- Your Activity: Instagram also goes through your user activity before they show a post on your feed. It analyzes whether you like watching videos more or just images. Based on that, the posts on your feed are shown with the most relevant videos or images.
When all these factors are combined, your feed posts will show you the most relevant recent posts from the accounts that you follow. But there are some more elements that can affect your post feeds.
If you want a clearer understanding of how it works with feed posts, in brief, Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram has even posted a designated post regarding it.
What Else Can Impact Feed Post Ranking on Instagram?
The Instagram algorithm also affects the feed post ranking with the following minor considerations:
- The quality of the photo or video content.
- The originality of the posts(based on how often they are shared).
- Watermarks from other apps
- Reported content and content that violates Instagram’s Community Guidelines are highly discouraged.
What Engagements Are Most Important to the Instagram Algorithm?
If you want to make sure that your posts rank higher on the Instagram feed, here are some of the useful engagements that you should implement:
- Make sure that the content that you post is worthy enough for the likes and comments from Instagram users.
- Your content must attract viewers to visit your account and post again and again.
- Add proper descriptions to the posts to increase engagement with users. For eg, link in bio and dm/comment for more info.
How the Instagram Reels Algorithm Works in 2022
Instagram reels are also one of the major pieces of content that have increased the popularity of Instagram.
They are short video clips that can be added to your Instagram account that can provide your viewers with immense information in a very short time. So if you want to grow your Instagram account, you must understand how the Instagram reels algorithm works as well.
As more and more users get viral with the help of Instagram reels, Instagram usually ranks the reels according to their level of engagement. The more amount of shares, likes, and comments they get, the more chances for them to end up on your Instagram feed or explore page.
And as Instagram itself is trying to pursue more reels on your suggested content, the reels that you create must be top-notch.
Instagram’s algorithm considers all the general factors of post information, poster information, user activity, and interaction history for a reel.
But to crack the Instagram reels algorithm, you also need to add high-quality reels to your account. The reels that you upload to your feed must be of high resolution with engaging content that assures that the users will watch your content till the end of the clip.
You can also do a lot of interesting experiments with the reels. They can include texts, camera effects and filters, video cropping and merging, and many more. You can have a look at some of the most popular reels posted on Instagram from their official account for more creative and fun examples.
Similarly, you should also add proper hashtags to your Instagram reels when you post them. The Instagram reel ranking also relies highly on the hashtags used on the particular reel.
Since Instagram deprioritizes the reels with the watermark of other apps, you should also keep in mind that the reels you post mustn’t have any such watermarks on them.
How the Instagram Stories Algorithm Works in 2022
Instagram stories have been one of the most used features by Instagram users in recent years. They store the content on a user account for 24 hours which can include photos as well as videos. Then, these contents are then moved to the archive.
Since they are shown on the homepage of the Instagram app as soon as your open it, the Instagram stories also work with their own algorithm. Typically, they show the story posts of the accounts that you follow.
But the order of the story posts that are shown depends on the accounts that you most interact with along with the story engagements.
Instagram stories have a lot of customization options. So it’s one of the easiest ways to engage with your followers. You can easily add polls, quizzes, and even add music to your stories or questions for more engagement.
Furthermore, the story posts have a much lesser time span on Instagram and usually show the most recent posts.
So if you want your audience to view your story, you can update it frequently within a few hours. Therefore, every time you post a story, there are high chances that your followers will be able to see your new story content.
How the Instagram Explore Page Algorithm Works in 2022
As suggested by the name of the page itself, the Explore page is targeted to introduce the users to new content on their Instagram feed. And just like the Instagram posts, stories, and reels, the explore page algorithm also has its own algorithm for Instagram.
The explore page or the explore tab consists of all kinds of posts that you might be interested in and includes images as well as videos and reels.
But while the default home page of Instagram includes the contents of the accounts you follow, the explore page includes the posts of all the new accounts that you might be interested in.
To collect and show the most relevant content for you on your explore page, the explore algorithm first considers the likes, saves, and shares of a post.
And once again, they compile the most suitable posts based on the accounts and posters that you interact with. Finally, this results in all the photos, reels, and videos that you see on your Instagram explore page.
Apart from the account interaction history, the algorithm also analyzes the keywords that you’ve entered in the explore tab search bar and your published post.
These keywords also directly impact the posts that you see on your explore page.
For example, if a user is a wildlife enthusiast, their explore page might look similar to the following screenshot.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Business, Creator, and Personal Accounts in 2022
Now that you know all the working procedures of the Instagram algorithm in 2022, we’ll also show you how it works for business, creator, and personal accounts too. Understanding it can also immensely help you improve your Instagram marketing strategy.
There were many popular rumors from unofficial sources that Instagram does prioritize business accounts more for ranking their content.
Obviously, Instagram did post an official story from their creators account currently under the FAQ story highlight.
They mentioned that they treat every type of account are equal for ranking their content to put an end to this rumor.
This means that they treat every account equally and show you the most relevant content from the accounts that you interact with the most.
However, switching to a business account does have certain advantages to monitoring your account.
It provides you with a number of helpful stats to help you grow your account which can be useful to you as a creator and even for personal use. Even so, your content will be ranked according to the quality of the posts and all the other factors that we’ve already mentioned here.
6 Ways to “Beat” the Instagram Algorithm in 2022
We’ve gone through almost everything that you need to know about how the Instagram algorithms works.
So now, you can easily implement the various ways to “beat” the algorithm and increase the reach of your Instagram audience. Here are some of the quickest ways to do so:
#1: Consistently Share Instagram Reels
We’ve repeatedly mentioned that Instagram is trying to promote more reels since their recent Instagram algorithm updates.
So if you consistently share your Instagram reels on your stories, there are high chances that they will get more views and interaction from the users. In return, this can also increase the chances of your reels ending up on the explore page for new account followers and visitors.
But you have to share and post consistently in order to get the best out of the reels. A schedule for posts and content sharing can help you organize the process.
#2: Encourage More Interactions with Instagram Stories Stickers
Instagram stories are one of the most customizable content that the app has provided for its users along with other posts.
It has a large number of sticker options with which you can show your creativity in your stories. One of the most common stickers to help you bring more engagement through your stories are the poles, questions, and emoji sliders.
Moreover, there are a lot of sticker animations provided by Instagram for your stories to make them even more attractive.
You can combine multiple stickers to create content that can increase user interaction with your account. Posting engaging content like these will definitely increase the interactions with Instagram users.
#3: Drive Conversations with Engaging Captions and Comments
Since the increase in interaction with the accounts is a major way to crack Instagram’s algorithm, you should also make sure that your posts have engaging content. You can add questions and suggestions to the Instagram captions of the posts that might lead the users to comment on them.
For example, you can compare two or more products on a post. Then ask a question to the user on which product they like better in the caption of the post. Also, request them to put their thoughts in the comments.
#4: Add Hashtags and Keywords to Your Posts
Relevant hashtags and keywords are very essential if you want to gain exposure for your posts and reels. These hashtags and keywords help Instagram’s algorithms to let them know the type of content that you just published. It even categories your content accordingly and display them to the relevant users based on their account interactions and niche hashtags.
#5: Cross-promote Your Instagram Content
Cross-promotion is a great way to introduce your Instagram account to new users.
You can share the same post with another account in which both the user accounts are mentioned as the poster for a single piece of content. In fact, even Instagram has provided this feature recently to encourage users to cross-promote their content.
When you cross-promote your Instagram content, the followers of the account that you collaborated with will be introduced to your account.
Similarly, your followers will also be introduced to the account that you collaborated with. Therefore, this will be a win-win situation for both accounts.
Both the accounts will gain exposure to a larger audience with which they can interact. As a result, your content will also have a higher chance to be shared on more user feeds from the Instagram algorithm analysis.
#6: Use Instagram Analytics to See What’s Working
Instagram also provides its users with adequate statistics and analytics. And as mentioned before, it even gives you more options for analytics if you switch to the business account. This mostly contains the view count and popularity of your overall account and individual posts.
Naturally, if you want to get the best out of Instagram to grow your account, it’s best if you switch to the business account.
In this way, you can take full advantage of the Instagram insights and familiarize yourself with the areas of improvement. You can see what works positively for your account, and make necessary changes if the views on your account content are declining.
This is all you’ve got to know about how the Instagram’s algorithms works in 2022.
To summarize, we’ve gone through how it works in general as well as in specific areas like the users feeds, stories, reels, and explore page. Similarly, we’ve also explained to you how it works for business, creators, and personal accounts and even provided you with a few tips to hack the Instagram algorithm.
All in all, if you want to increase the reach of your content to a larger audience, your best strategy is to increase the interaction with as many accounts as possible.
For that, you should post quality content with relevancy based on how you want to increase the engagements with your viewers. If you need more help, you can make full use of Instagram’s default analytics or even use a social media manager.