The damn instagram algorithm… The one that brings you upside down and prevents you from growing with your account or appearing in the feed of your followers for no apparent reason. After a long time wondering how the famous social network works internally, its director, Adam Mosseri, has sat down to explain it, revealing very interesting things in great detail that could help you better understand how the platform works. Take note.
There is more than one algorithm on Instagram
The first thing to be clear about is that there is more than one algorithm On Instagram. In fact, each section of the service has its own operation, so that what works for your feed does not have to do it in the Reels or in the Stories.
Understanding this, Mosseri himself makes a clear distinction between each category, to explain what is important in each of them.
How it works in the Feed
The Feed is the recent posts shared by the people you follow, as well as posts from accounts you don’t follow yet that Instagram thinks you might be interested in. To determine the latter, the social network takes multiple factors into account, including who you follow, what you’ve liked, or who you’ve recently interacted with.
Spinning thinner, these are the points that it takes into account:
Your activity: Posts you’ve liked, shared, saved, or commented on.
Information about the publication: helps to know how popular a post is (how many people have liked it and how quickly they have liked, commented, shared and saved a post) and rate the content itself, when it was published and where it is located (if indicated).
Information about the person who posted: it helps to know how interesting the person can be for you.
Your interaction history with someone: indicates how interested you are in seeing a particular person’s posts.
How it works on Reels
In the case of Reels, you may have noticed that they appear to you both from people you follow and from many others you don’t know. This is because Instagram is testing you all the time, to see what type of content in Reel format you like the most. Here it is taken into account from the probability that you share it for you to see it in full, passing by because you like it or even end up going to the songs section of the Reel to create your own content.
Specifically, this is what is taken into account:
Your activity: which Reels you liked, which ones you have saved, shared or commented on. This helps to understand what content may be most relevant to you.
Your interaction history with the person who posted the Reel: The video was probably made by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you’ve interacted with it, it also gives Instagram an idea of how interested you might be in sharing it.
Information about the Reel: about the content of the video, such as the audio track or images of the video, as well as the popularity.
Information about the person who posted: they continually look at popularity data like the number of followers or the level of engagement to help find compelling content from a (fairly) wide range of people.
How it works in Stories
The Stories or Histories are a closer way of seeing the people we follow, being participants on many occasions in their daily moments. In this case, the Stories you see they are always from people you followinterspersed with advertisements.
It also has a particular way of being displayed in your app and these are the factors that include:
Display history: Analyze how often you view an account’s stories so that Instagram prioritizes them and considers that they are the ones you should never miss.
History of engagement or commitment– Analyzes how often you interact with an account’s stories, whether it’s reacting with a like or commenting via DM.
Closeness: Analyze the possible relationship you have with the author in the Stories and the probability that you are friends or family.
How it works in the Explore section
You already know that if you tap on the magnifying glass in the bottom bar of the app, Instagram takes you to a section of random content from people you don’t follow to explore and discover new content.
To find the videos and photos that may interest you, Instagram again analyzes your past activity as well as the posts you like, save, comment on or share. Once the material is found, it orders it according to how it thinks you will like it the most.
These are more important signs to watch out for, in roughly order of importance:
Information about the publication: how many times and how fast other people like, comment, share and save a post. These “signals” matter much more in Explore than they do in Feed or Stories.
Your activity in Explore: it takes into account posts you’ve liked, saved, shared or commented on and how you’ve interacted with other posts in Explore in the past. If you interact with a specific type of post, Instagram will try to show you more content similar to the original post you interacted with.
Your interaction history with the person who posted: Chances are the post was shared by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you’ve interacted with it, that gives the platform an idea of how you’re interested in its content.
Information about the person who posted: how many times users have interacted with that person you discovered in Explore in the last few weeks.