How does Instagram algorithm work and how do I make the most of it?

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Introduction To the Instagram Algorithm


Instagram not long ago achieved 700,000,000 (700 million) active users on a global level, that’s a ridiculous number of users, and it also means that there is far too much good content we never see. In fact, according to Instagram itself, each user misses 70% of the content in their feed. You Can also
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With that in mind, not many years ago Instagram introduced their algorithm, which picks up different signals from their users to determine what content should be at the top of a user’s feed. The idea of ​​the algorithm was and is to make sure that each user sees the postings that the individual is most interested in and engaged with.

What we know about the algorithm

For the first six years of Instagram life, our feed was divided into a simple reverse chronological order based on the Instagram users each person followed. In other words, when you logged into your Instagram, you saw the newest posts first. Even if it was from your mother, or your favorite football team, and without the quality of the content being taken into account. In March 2016, Instagram announced that they would move from this simple reverse chronological order to an advanced algorithm. In general, people were not happy about it. And although we can still find people complaining about this, Instagram has commented that it has helped to increase engagement around the content on Instagram.

Whether Instagram users like this change or not, it has certainly not stagnated the number of new users to Instagram. On the contrary, Instagram’s user base increased by almost 50% in the subsequent 10 months that the algorithm was rolled out—an increase from 500 million users in June 2016, to 700 million users in April 2017.

Like most other social networks, Instagram keeps its cards close when it comes to sharing information about the algorithm, but they have revealed some of the elements that make up the algorithm.

How does the Instagram algorithm work?

According to a blog post posted by Instagram, the changes encourage us to “first see the posts we care about the most”. Essentially, the algorithm tries to predict what content interests you the most and pushes this to the top of your feed.

So what circumstances determine what Instagram you think is most interesting?

The only specific factors Instagram mentions are “the likelihood that you are interested in the content”, “your relationship to the person posting” and “the timeliness of the post”.

A chat with Business Insider, where a spokesperson from Instagram could be a little more specific, gave these answers:

Actuality

Instagram may no longer be reverse-chronological, but still takes into account that people want to see fresh new posts every time they check their Instagram feed.

Visit: NRUTimes

What does this mean to you? 

Although people may not necessarily see your post the moment you post it, it is still important to time this moment to get maximum engagement on your post, as soon as possible. A rule of thumb says at 17:00, this can of course vary from target group to target group.

Engagement

Since engagement indicates that a post is very appealing, the Instagram algorithm boosts a post that gets more likes and comments. Early engagement is especially important because a flurry of initial activity indicates to an Instagram algorithm that the post is worth moving to the top of followers’ feeds—which further leads to more engagement.

What does this mean for you? 

As much as possible, you should try to get a lot of engagement immediately after your post has been uploaded to Instagram.

Relationships

If we go beyond following a profile, this factor plays a role in the Instagram algorithm analyzing how deep your relationship is with a profile. In other words, over time, how much you engage with a profile’s content. So the more you like and comment on a profile’s content, the more often you will see their content in your feed.

This ensures that you see content from people you have a closer relationship with than others, even if they may not have enough followers or likes to be boosted by Instagram. An example might be that you see your mother’s post before you see a post from Kim Kardashian, even though Kim Kardashian’s post has much more engagement.

What does this mean for you?

 It is important to keep up the relations with all your followers. Consistent engagement has more value for you than sporadic engagement. So get to know your followers, know what they want to see from you, and engage with them. You can use Instagram Insights to track which of your posts perform best and model the rest of your content after what works best.

Profile searches and direct shares

Searching for an Instagram profile sends a strong signal that you are interested in seeing more content from their profile. Sharing someone else’s post with your network through direct messages indicates that you found the content engaging, even if you haven’t publicly liked or commented on that post. Both of these things help indicate to the Instagram algorithm how likely you are to be interested in posts from these profiles.

What does this mean for you? 

‘Direct messaging’ is hard to track, although you can’t see these shares, Instagram is still monitoring them in the background. This is another strong reason to post content that appeals to the users you want to connect with. Maximize impact on the people searching for your profile with a strong bio, check out this one from ASOS.

Instagram algorithm

What benefits does the Instagram algorithm bring to you?

The biggest advantage is that the algorithm ensures greater engagement, at least according to figures from Instagram itself. But in addition, we also see a few extra advantages if you manage to make optimal use of it.

Quality content rises to the top

As Kevin System, Instagram co-founder and CEO, told the New York Times, “What this essentially means is that Instagram algorithm provides, that the 30% you see is the best possible 30%. If you consistently deliver quality content, in line with your followers’ expectations, you have a huge advantage over the profiles that throw out low-quality content.

Posts have a longer lifespan

Before the Instagram algorithm, the half-life of an Instagram post was 72 minutes, so half of its engagement would take place in that time. By now you may have noticed that your posts are being commented on and liked for several hours, if not days after you have uploaded them.

This means that if you post quality content that engages your followers, it will most likely be shown to those followers who were not online a while after you uploaded it.

How does your profile play best with an Instagram algorithm?

Not everyone benefits equally from the Instagram algorithm, so let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to play on the same team.

Focus on quality

Have you caught on yet that the Instagram algorithm makes quality content more important than ever? The algorithm will try to bury low-quality content and let the quality rise to the top.

Know your followers

Engagement is the key to success through the Instagram algorithm, but it is important to remember that not all target groups find the same things engaging. This means that you must get to know your target group very well, and understand what appeals most to them. What images, videos, or texts are most likely to inspire them to interact with your content?

As mentioned earlier, you learn more about your followers’ behavior through Instagram algorithm Insights, i.e. gender, age, and general demographics. You can use these details to create a persona around your followers, e.g. determine in which country you have the most followers and optimize when your content should be shared based on this.

 

Sahar sultan
Sahar sultan
Meet Sahar Sultan, a professional blogger with six years of enriching experience. Sahar embarked on a digital journey, transforming her passion for words into captivating narratives. Her blog reflects a diverse spectrum, from lifestyle to tech trends, offering readers a glimpse into her well-traveled and insightful world. With an approachable writing style, Sahar has built a global audience, inviting them to join her on a six-year-long adventure of storytelling and discovery. Follow her on social media for real-time updates on her ever-evolving journey.

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