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How does Instagram's algorithm work?

Instagram has changed a lot since 2010. It made its debut on iPhone as a vintage photo social media. Now it is considered a multiplatform option to grow your business or brand.

Instagram's director, Adam Mosseri, explained on his blog that there is no single algorithm for the app. "We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose".

Over time, the platform understood that users want to see their friends, family, and people close to them (according to interactions) in Stories and Feed. They prefer to discover new people in the "Explore" section.

In the case of Stories and Feed, he stated that recent posts from users followed between them are prioritized. However, not all of them appear because Instagram prioritizes the following aspects:

  • The information about the post: How many likes it has, when it was published, how long it lasts if it is a video, and the location.

  • Information about the person who posted: It helps to know how fascinating an account is for the person by considering the number of interactions with that user in the last weeks.

  • Your activity: This helps Instagram understand what kind of content you like to see, and you are based on, for example, the posts you have liked.

  • Your history of interacting with someone: Here, it relies on comments on past posts to find out whether or not you are interested in specific content.

Mosseri said that Reels are based on entertaining. According to your interaction history and the popularity of the short video, the social media prioritizes the content in the "Explore" section.

The "Explore" section seeks to showcase recommendations considering your interaction history and the post's popularity.

How to influence the algorithm?

  • Silence content that is not of interest!

  • Choose your friends in the "Close Friends" option on Instagram Stories.

  • Indicate that the content shown in the "Explore" section is not interesting for you.

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