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9 Instagram Algorithm Must Knows

There are a lot of rumours when it comes to the IG Algorithm.

We’re sharing the top 9 Instagram algorithm facts you should know — as confirmed by Instagram themselves.

1: Multiple Algorithms

You’ll often hear the Instagram algorithm referred to as a singular concept, but in fact, there are multiple algorithms working at once.

For example, the Instagram feed algorithm is different to the Instagram Explore Page algorithm, and the IGTV algorithm is different to the Instagram Reels algorithm.

While each algorithm is different for each experience, they all work on the same principle: to deliver content that users are most likely to find interesting.

2: The Feed Algorithm: Four Key Factors

Here are the most important factors that the Instagram algorithm takes into account:

  • Information about the post itself: Is it a photo or a video? What subject is it about? Does it have a lot of likes?

  • Information about the poster: Are they a friend? Do they post often?

  • Your activity: Do you tend to watch a lot of videos? What content do you typically engage with?

  • Your interaction history: Do you like or comment on a lot of the poster’s posts?

Based on this information, the algorithm calculates how likely someone is to interact with a post, which ultimately determines the order in which posts are displayed in someone’s feed. Interesting huh?

3: The Feed Algorithm: Five Point Interactions

These key interactions, are taken into account by the algorithm when determining feed ranking:

  • Time spent: Are you going to spend time viewing the post?

  • Like: How likely are you to like the post?

  • Comment: How likely are you to comment on the post?

  • Save: How likely are you to save the post?

  • Tap on Profile: How likely are you to tap on the profile after seeing the post?

If the algorithm calculates that someone is unlikely to carry out any of these interactions on a post, it will be deprioritized in a feed.

4: Adding Someone to Your Close Friends List Boosts Their Ranking

Fun face. Adding someone to your 'Close Friends list' is also an indicator to Instagram’s algorithms. Instagram 'buddies' posts and stories will get bumped higher when you open the app.

On the flip side, if you indicate you are not interested in a specific post on the Explore Page, you are effectively deprioritizing that type of content with the Instagram algorithm.

5: Timeliness is an Important Signal, But Not the Only Signal

When it comes to Instagram’s algorithms, timeliness (i.e. when a post was shared) is roughly, but not strictly, chronological. This means that a post could be shown ahead of a more recent one, if the algorithm determines it to have a higher interest for that user.

6: All Account Types Are Treated Equally (Personal, Business, and Creator)

Despite popular belief, Instagram has confirmed that all account types are treated equally when it comes to the algorithms. This means that you can have a personal, business, or a creator account — and it doesn’t make any difference to how your content performs.

Switching to a Business account allows you to get more insights into how your content is performing among a specific grouping of viewers.

7: Every Comment Counts as an Interaction

One of the biggest myths about the algorithm is that it doesn’t count comments that are less than three words in length. All comments are taken into account, even if its one or two emoji's.

In fact, it all depends on the individual user. If they regularly engage with your content, odds are you’ll rank higher in their Instagram feed. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to always reply to your comments on a regular basis.

Not only will this keep conversations active on your posts, but it also shows your audience that you’re engaged — which can be great for promoting more interactions.

8: Favouritism: Video vs. Photos

Instagram’s feed algorithm has zero bias between photo and video content. However, video content is typically more engaging and gets more “time spent” per post, two important indicators for the algorithm.

As such, video content generally outperforms photo content on the app —so keep this in mind when creating content.

9: Bots and Comment Pods Don’t Work

Fake interactions (such as using bots or comment pods) will always be identified and ranked as such. In an Instagram Stories Q&A, Instagram shared that the best way to build sustainable engagement is by being authentic and transparent in the comment section.

In short? Trying to cheat 'the system' doesn’t work, no matter how elaborate your scheme is. If you genuinely want to improve your algorithm ranking in 2021, the most important thing is to post consistently and regularly engage with your audience.

And there you have it, the top Instagram algorithm facts you should know!

Building a genuine relationship with your followers is the most powerful way to “hack” the algorithm, and keep your audience coming back for more! Now get to it!


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