How Does Instagram Algorithm Work?

March 04, 2023
Naser Emad
Naser Emad
Naser Emad
Naser Emad
16 mins read
How Does Instagram Algorithm Work?

Instagram has more than 1 billion global users, more than half of which are under the age of 35. This makes Instagram the main social media platform for targeting young audiences. Social media marketing is booming, and Instagram advertising has been successful in many areas, which is why understanding the Instagram algorithm is the key to making your content visible. In order to get this word, you need to know how to beat the Instagram algorithm.


What is the Instagram Algorithm?

The Instagram (IG) algorithm is not a single algorithm, but several processes of how Instagram works as a platform. This is an evolution of the original reverse-chronological algorithm used in 2010, in which 70% of the posts were not seen, and 50% of the posts were from close contacts. The new Instagram algorithm is separated between Feed, Explore, and Reels, which will be discussed later. So, how does the Instagram algorithm work?

Several main indicators apply to each part of the IG application. With any changes to the Instagram algorithm, the following ranking signals will never change:

  • Posting messages – The speed at which people like, comment, share, and save affects whether your target audience will see your posts.
  • Interaction - You are more likely to see content from people you have interacted with in the past. This information is used to share similar content with people you have never contacted.
  • User activity - When Instagram displays new content in your feed, it considers signals such as your likes, comments, shared, and saved posts.
  • Poster - How many times have you interacted with the poster? How many times have you interacted with posters with similar content? Instagram uses it to show you the content you are most likely to be interested in.
  • Timeliness - new, fresh content often appears first. The platform insists that old posts will indeed be seen, but new content has a natural advantage.

Remember, Instagram is not a static feed, such as Google. Your feed will be different from the person sitting next to you because it depends heavily on your personal activities.


The 2021 Instagram Algorithm: How it Works

Has Instagram changed the 2021 algorithm? The short answer is yes; changes have been made to the platform. Let’s delve into the changes made to the Instagram algorithm and how it affects your Instagram coverage.


The general feed has not changed much. Like other social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram prioritizes fresh posts from users’ closest relationships. This is why marketers need to reduce purely digital work and build more real relationships with followers. Regular content and interaction in comments are two key activities to ensure that your posts are seen. The tips for 2021 are the same as the tips for 2020:

  • Publish quality content
  • Connect with your audience
  • Focus on niche markets
  • Build relationships with similar accounts
  • Use hashtags sparingly


The story will not affect your wider Instagram coverage. These are designed for your closest followers. The Instagram story algorithm is still important because 500 million Instagram users use stories every day, and one-third of the most viewed stories globally are from brands. If you have established a relationship with your audience, stories are a shortcut to interact with them. Don't choose them among the classic feed posts, but make sure to add one or two stories to existing followers every day.


The scroll is a successful response to Tik Tok. Like Stories, they will not affect the broader IG algorithm, but they do increase participation. For example, the average engagement of NFL teams on Reels is 67% higher than that of regular videos.


For IGTV, the algorithm prioritizes content based on the accounts that users interact with most often and the types of posts that users participate most often. IGTV videos are provided to users on the "Explore" page according to their preferences. Like Reels, this is another form of video that can increase engagement.


Strategies to Improve Your Rankings in the Instagram Algorithm

Now that you know the changes in the Instagram algorithm, what do you need to do to improve your ranking? Here are some tips to follow:

  • Improve photo quality.
  • Publish a consistent story, at least once every day.
  • Produce more video content to get better participation.
  • Write more attractive headlines because Instagram will rank based on engagement.
  • Organize giveaway events to build better relationships.
  • Harness the power of target tags.

There are no shortcuts on Instagram. Forget about robots and Instagram pods. In 2021, building a real brand through the content users enjoy for a long time is still the best way to change IG's business. Enhance your brand with shortened custom BioURL links. Prepare your Insta link and turn followers into customers. Take your business to the next level, sign up for BioURL for free today. Enjoy this content and want to learn more about how to add a link to Instagram Stories? BioURL blog is exactly what you need. Click here to explore!

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