Instagram finally explains how its platform’s algorithm works.
Instagram is primarily based on your interactions with posts. © itchaznong – stock.adobe.com
Instagram’s algorithm has always been a source of mysteries and theories for users of the social network. Its vague operation arouses the curiosity of those who wish to increase their visibility on the platform. How does Instagram choose which posts to show? Why are some publications more successful than others?
Today, the social network reveals how its algorithm works depending on the type of content posted.
Instagram’s algorithm, quésaco?
When the social network was created in 2010, the publications shared by Internet users were listed in chronological order. However, as the number of users of the platform increased, such management of shared content became impossible. Indeed, users could miss up to 70% of the people followed because of the volume of posts too high. That’s why, starting in 2017, Instagram implemented a new algorithm that classifies content according to your interactions and preferences. An algorithm still working today.
At the same time, Instagram’s algorithm has always pursued the same goal: to provide users with relevant content according to their preferences. Of course, behind this operation lies the idea of making the user spend the most time on the platform in order to increase advertising revenue, thanks to sponsored posts.
How does Instagram’s algorithm work?
Instagram manager Adam Mosseri said there isn’t an all-powerful algorithm “that oversees what people see and don’t see” :
We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers and processes, each with its own purpose. We want to make the most of your time and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to achieve this, said Adam Mosseri.
Concretely, each type of content (Feed publications, Explore tab, Reels, Stories, etc.) has a different process because they meet different needs. If an Internet user is looking to see the Stories of his closest friends, he will instead use the Explore menu to have fun and discover new people.
Ranking of Instagram Feed and Stories
Regarding the posts that appear in the content feed as well as the Stories, Instagram wants to highlight the content recently published by people around you. To choose the order in which these posts appear, Instagram uses “thousands of signals”, listed in order of importance:
- Information about the publication: the number of interactions generated, (likes, comments, records), the time of publication, the duration (when it comes to ‘a video), location.
- Information about the person who posted the content: the number of interactions recorded during the previous weeks.
- Your activity: signals about your activity allow the platform to better understand the content that interests you, for example by analyzing the number of posts you liked.
- Your interaction history: this criterion takes into account the comments exchanged on the publications.
After analyzing these signals, Instagram estimates and judges the likelihood of your interaction with the content. The 5 interactions that weigh the most are: spend several seconds on the post, comment, like, save the content and press the profile picture.
The calculation is then simple: the higher the degree of probability depending on the importance of the interaction, the more Instagram will highlight the content in your Feed or Story.
Ranking of the Explorer tab
The Explore feed allows you to discover new content from accounts you don’t follow. To offer content that meets your expectations, Instagram observes the old posts with which you have interacted (likes, comments, recordings). Then Instagram ranks those posts by estimating the likelihood of you interacting with a post, ranked in order of importance by likes, saves, and shares.
Instagram also analyzes different signals in order of importance:
- Post Information: Instagram considers the popularity of a post based on the number of interactions generated the fastest after it is uploaded.
- Your interaction history : the platform searches for potential interactions previously carried out with the profile in question.
- Your Activity: These signals analyze your reactions to old Explorer posts.
- Information about the person who posted the content: the interaction rate recorded over the past few weeks.
Ranking of Reels
The Reel rating works much the same as the Explorer rating with one twist: the main purpose of this content is to keep you entertained. Instagram says it analyzes comments to better understand the content, while “keeping an eye out for small creators”.
The actions taken into account to estimate the impact of a Reel are the probability that you will watch an entire Reel, add a like or comment, and consult the source of the audio linked to that Reel. .
Among the most important signals for the order of appearance of the Reels:
- Your activity: Instagram examines the Reels that you have liked before and have interacted with, to bring you similar content.
- Your interaction history: the platform is looking for potential old reactions made with the author of the Reel.
- Reel Information: These signals combine an analysis of the audio track used and understanding of the content based on pixels and images as well as the popularity of the content.
- Reel information: / li>
- Information about the person who posted the content: Instagram takes into account the popularity of the profile that posted the Reel, considering a wide range of users.
How do you influence the order in which content appears in your news feed?
Instagram’s algorithm is based primarily on how you use the platform as well as post interactions. There are different concrete ways to influence the content offered to you by the social network:
- Identify your close acquaintances: It is possible to create “close friend lists” which allow you to share your Stories with these people only. Instagram uses these lists to identify your closest acquaintances and prioritize them in the order that content appears on your feed.
- Restrict profiles: the platform gives the possibility to mute accounts whose content interests you little, without needing to unsubscribe.
- Use the “not interested” option: it is possible to show that content (from Explorer or Reels) offered by Instagram’s algorithm does not interest you . To do this, click on the three ellipses on the right side of the screen, then press “not interested”. Thus, Instagram will recommend this type of publication less to you.
Adam Mosseri also indicated that this blogpost would be the start of a long series aimed at better informing users of the social network. Soon, Instagram should share more information on Shadowbanning (seeing your content deleted or being less highlighted by the platform), an operation that is still confused for users of the social network.
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