Instagram feed: analysis and operation
Maybe you don’t know, but the screen that appears in front of you every time you open Instagram has a very specific name, that is feed . The feed is similar – from a conceptual point of view – to the Facebook home and the Twitter timeline, and is nothing more than the virtual place where you can share your content and view that of others, connecting and interacting with users.
In this guide I’ll explain how the Instagram feed works and a few tricks to make the most of it according to your needs.
What it is and what it allows you to do
The feed is the main page of Instagram, as well as that which opens automatically every time the application is started.
From the point of view of content, the Instagram feed hosts different types: there are the stories , which appear at the top of the screen and are displayed by swiping left and right; the posts ; the reels ; IGTVs, which must be scrolled vertically, from bottom to top (and vice versa) if you want to go back.
However, the feed is not only intended to collect content shared by other users . Starting from this screen, in fact, it is possible to do much more, such as:
- Search for an account, a hashtag or a place , by tapping on the magnifying glass and then typing in the search bar;
- Access your private messages , through the paper airplane icon ;
- V see the latest notifications received , by pressing the little heart;
- Go to your profile , by pressing on the thumbnail of your photo (bottom right);
- Publish your content. By tapping on
+(sometimes located at the bottom center and others at the top right), it is in fact possible to share a post, a story, a reel or a live video, which will appear on the feed of others.
How it works
You may already know that the content that appears on your feed is exclusively people’s content – and of any hashtags and places – you follow . Alongside these, there are obviously also those of an advertising nature, always marked with the words “sponsored”. Beyond these, however, it is impossible for you to view posts and stories of users you do not follow on your feed, which instead are in the “Explore” section.
Having clarified this aspect, it remains to be understood in How Instagram determines the order of content in the subscriber feed. To do this “dirty work” is the algorithm of the social network , which takes into consideration three distinct aspects:
- The probability that the contents interest you , based on the target you come back to and the posts and stories you generally appreciate;
- The date of sharing of the posts (and the time, if stories);
- The previous interactions with the person who posted a post or story. The interactions, in this case, can be of various types: just to give a few examples, you may have saved a content or sent it to someone else, or you may have left a like or a comment.
Putting all these factors together, it can be deduced that Instagram would like you to view mainly recent and interesting content, posted by people you have interacted with in the past. The operation is therefore similar to that of the order of Instagram views over 50.
How to change
If the Instagram algorithm “studies our behaviors” and shows us content that reflects them, then it is possible to modify the feed by modifying our own behaviors .
I know that what has just been said may seem abstruse to you, but I assure you that it is much easier to do than to say! I’ll give you an example: if you want your feed to be mainly focused on travel, then following and interacting mainly with the accounts that deal with this topic will ensure that, slowly, the algorithm understands that you are interested , and you start showing it to you predominantly. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will stop seeing any other content, but that travel content will take precedence. It’s not an immediate process, but with a little patience you can “educate” the algorithm and get a feed to your liking.
Another action you can take to edit your feed is mute Instagram posts related to accounts you don’t care about. In this way, you will ensure that the content posted by those users no longer appears on your main screen, while continuing to follow them. You can do the same with stories.