By: Amen Sharma / September 17, 2018

How The Instagram Algorithm Works

Earlier this year, Instagram announced that they would be updating the algorithm to make it appear more chronological. In the past few days, Instagram has announced how they organise our feeds.

We know, Instagram can be crucial for your business, so knowing how the algorithm works could do wonders for your social media marketing.

Your feed isn’t just based on who you follow, but also on who and what you like. Instagram relies on machine learning based on past behaviour, creating a unique feed for everyone one. Even if you followed the exact same accounts as someone else, your feed would still be personalised based on how you interact with these accounts. Therefore, the content you engage with is more likely to show up at the top of your feed.

Instagram state that their main goal is to help you see content for what’s important to you. They say this is your ‘friends and family’, but this could be whatever is important to you. The algorithm is said to show you 90% of this content instead of 50% in the chronological feed.

The algorithm predicts what photos and videos are the most important to you, determined by interest, timeliness and relationships. This is how much they think you will care about a post – the more you like it (based on the previous behaviour), the higher it appears in your feed. The new algorithm prioritises the most recent posts, therefore, fewer posts from over a week ago. This, therefore, suggests it is moving away from content or engagement. Finally, relationships – if you are tagged in a post this will make it more likely this user will appear on your feed. If you want to see a certain account, comment on their posts more.

Further factors include frequency. If you are a frequent scroller, you feed will appear more chronological as it wants to show the best posts since your last visit, therefore, if you scroll less often it will be less chronological. The greater amount of usage on the accounts also influences this, if you spend a lot of time on Instagram it has to dig deeper into its catalogue. Your following also has an impact, if you follow a lot of accounts, the more options the algorithm has to choose from.

Some myths that were also addressed by the Instagram team included: at the moment it is not considering reverting back to a chronological feed; they do not hide posts on your feed (keep scrolling and you will see everything); ranking does not favor type of content but how the users interacts with the contents; it does not downrank users for posting too frequently and shadowbanning is not a real thing.

About Amen Sharma

Director of HeartCMS.com and author of UK's bestselling online marketing book 'The Google Checklist'. Amen loves to help small to medium size businesses get more online exposure. Amen started his online marketing journey back in 2006 and now runs his own award winning marketing agency.

https://www.heartcms.com

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