Did you know that about 1 billion people open the Instagram app every month?
Instagram is obviously one of the most popular social media websites out there, so if you want to have a massive amount of engagement, it’s a great place for your content. However, you can’t just post on the app and automatically become Instagram famous – it takes a little more effort than that.
The first thing you need to do is understand the Instagram algorithm. Are you wondering “how does the Instagram algorithm work?”
Keep reading below to learn more about the algorithm and how you can become more popular on Instagram by using the algorithm to your advantage.
What Is the Instagram Algorithm?
Instagram’s algorithm is actually made up of many different processes and classifiers that work together to put the right type of content on users’ feeds. The algorithm is simply trying to ensure that posts are reaching people that would actually care to look at them.
After all, Instagram wants users to enjoy their time on the app, so making sure that they see things they want to see encourages them to stay on the app longer, see more ads, and (ultimately) make more revenue for Instagram.
Instagram’s algorithm works to keep users on the platform, so it tries to show people posts that their friends made, posts from people they have previously liked, or posts that have hashtags they’ve previously interacted with. This is all to help drive engagement and keep users on the app for as long as possible.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?
For regular Instagram posts and Instagram Stories, the algorithm is fairly simple to understand. The five main factors that Instagram’s algorithm uses to decide if a post will or will not be featured on someone’s feed include:
- App usage
The algorithm “looks at” how likely you’ll be interested in a post before it shows up on your feed based on engagement with similar posts.
More recent content is also a priority, so if the post was shared more recently, it’s more likely to show up on your feed.
If there is someone you already have a relationship with on the app (as in, you’ve interacted with their posts or profile before), the algorithm also takes that into account. Posts from someone you’ve interacted with recently will show up higher on the feed.
The algorithm will also look at how many people you follow and how many people follow you when determining what you might want to see.
The content you see on Instagram will borrow heavily from how frequently you use the app. If you’re someone that scrolls often, Instagram will show you new posts from your previous visit. If you hardly ever open the app, however, the feed is going to contain a list that is curated based on the factors mentioned above.
Algorithm for Instagram’s Explore
Since the regular algorithm is meant to show people posts based on what they’ve already enjoyed previously, Explore’s algorithm is a little different. The goal here is to introduce people to what they might be interested in rather than what they have already shown interest in.
This algorithm still looks at posts that you’ve liked, engaged with, and looked at. More specifically, it is looking at the locations, keywords, and hashtags of these posts to see what might match up with what you haven’t yet viewed. The algorithm here suggests posts that are similar to these based on this adjacent information.
Algorithm for Instagram’s Reels
Reels are meant to be fun and entertaining, so the algorithm here still wants to show you fresh content you have never seen before. It works similarly to the Explore algorithm.
Most of the Instagram Reels accounts that you’ll see are probably ones that you haven’t heard of and don’t follow. Instagram will often ask if users like the Reels they see, which increases the chance that the post will or won’t continue to be shown to other users.
Instagram’s Reels algorithm tries to guess how likely it is that you’ll watch a Reel until the end. It also looks at whether or not you go to the audio page to consider making a Reel of your own with the audio.
How Can Someone Increase Their Post Engagement?
If you’re wondering how to get Instagram likes, views, and follows, there are some basic things that you can do to help land on the good side of Instagram’s 2022 algorithm.
First, be sure that you’re using hashtags to increase your audience and stay on-trend. You also want to be sure that you’re using hashtags that are most prevalent so that people will be driven to your post if they search for trendy hashtags.
You also need to make high-quality content. If your posts aren’t very good, the algorithm won’t want to showcase them to other users. Make posts that people will want to engage with. Pay attention to Instagram trends as well to gear your content toward what is already popular.
Respond to the comments people leave on your posts as well. This will help you increase engagement rates, which shows the algorithm that you make engagement more enjoyable for others (and that makes people want to stay on the app).
Consistently post your content to ensure that you’re active on the app. The algorithm notices how often a person posts, and doing so on a consistent schedule will help you land on more feeds, Explore tabs, Stories, and Reels.
Boost Your Engagement by Monitoring Algorithm Changes
Now that you can answer the question “how does the Instagram algorithm work?” and figure out how to boost your own engagement, you’re ready to become an Instagram rockstar.
Whether you’re interested in creating funny content for people to enjoy or you want to be an influencer that uses Instagram to make money, understanding the algorithm is the most important way to start. Once you gain a solid following, you’re on your way to becoming a more popular Instagram creator!
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