How does the Instagram algorithm actually work? In a bid to compete against fast-growing social and video platform TikTok, it’s no secret that Instagram has upped its options for video content recently, including IGTV content and Reels. If you use Instagram to promote your business, you’ll know that its algorithm can be quite mysterious. But once you understand how this platform’s algorithm works, you can start designing and tailoring your content to make sure that it works for you.
How Instagram’s Algorithm Works for Feed Posts:
According to Instagram, the main factors that influence the algorithm for feed posts are interest, relationship, timeliness, frequency, and following. Along with the fact that the algorithm now favors video content over photos and graphics, it’s important to keep these factors in mind when designing and posting video content for Instagram to make it work better for you. We’ll take a look at these six factors and how they all tie into getting your posts seen by your followers.
A user’s Instagram feed is not just based on the accounts that they follow. It also takes into account their activity, including the posts that they tend to like. This means that the algorithm takes a user’s interest into account, with posts that they’re more likely to interact with appearing higher in the feed. Because of this, being consistent with your Instagram posts is important since it allows your followers to interact with your content more.
Instagram’s algorithm is designed to show users videos and posts from the accounts that they care about the most. To do this, it looks at the user’s interactions as a whole to determine which accounts they’ll be most likely to want to see. Generally, this might include considering accounts that post content the user engages with, accounts that they direct message, and accounts that they search for.
The frequency of a user’s Instagram use will also be taken into consideration by the algorithm when it comes to which videos and posts are shown first. People who scroll through Instagram on a regular basis are more likely to be shown chronological content to update them since their last visit. On the other hand, users who check the app more infrequently are more likely to see content that the algorithm has determine they might be interested in.
How long ago the video was posted is another factor that Instagram’s algorithm also takes into account. Since it aims to provide users with the latest and most up-to-date content, it’s important to make sure that you know your best time to post video on Instagram to make the algorithm work for you and reach more of your audience. To do this, it’s important to figure out when your followers are online and at their most active.
The number of accounts that your audience is following on Instagram can also have an impact on how and where they see your posts. Users who follow a lot of accounts provide Instagram with more options to choose from when it comes to the content that they are shown.
How Instagram’s Algorithm Works for the Explore Page:
In general, Instagram’s feed and Explore page algorithms are quite similar, with both of them showing content that Instagram thinks the user is going to be most interested in based on their previous interactions. However, the main difference between the two is that while user’s Instagram feed is made up of content from the accounts that they follow, the Explore page consists of content from different accounts.
Instagram’s explore page is evolving constantly, with the platform adding more advanced search functionalities and topic categories on a regular basis. For example, users can now search for relevant content using both keywords and hashtags.
The Explore page algorithm takes more than just hashtags into account, considering other factors such as the words in the caption and the visual content itself when showing certain posts to users. And with videos now favored when it comes to what’s likely to be shown at the top of the explore page, the best way to improve your chance of your video post being seen by the relevant audience in this part of Instagram is to make sure that you’re sharing great content with more niche hashtags and strong captions to boost your Explore page ranking.
Along with videos, Instagram also prioritizes the top performing posts when it comes to hashtag searches. It uses a user’s historical interactions to curate the most relevant posts for them when searching.
How Instagram’s Algorithm Works With IGTV Videos and Reels:
Instagram is seriously promoting IGTV videos and Reels right now, bringing more of these posts into feeds and the Explore page. When in this section of the platform, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content from accounts that the user interacts with the most along with the type of posts that they are most likely to engage with, in a similar way to the feed algorithm.
Posting IGTV videos and Reels is already a step in the right direction for companies that want to be in with the best chance of being seen by new and existing audiences since these videos are already being prioritized throughout Instagram and with the right strategies, are much more likely to appear on the Explore page. However, there are several things that you can do to improve your chances of getting your content noticed.
IGTV Videos: Sharing a one-minute preview of your IGTV video to your feed can boost your chance of it being noticed since the feed is typically where most users will spend their time scrolling Instagram. Videos are being prioritized in the feed, giving you an advantage compared to posting a photo, and a better chance of creating that initial exposure.
Reels: Always share reels to your main Instagram feed. With more users interacting with video content on Instagram, reels are a top priority and more likely to show up at the top of the feed for interested users. Use strong captions and several hashtags to improve discoverability.
Understanding how the Instagram algorithm works is important to getting your content discovered. Videos are now the top priority on Instagram, but there are several things you can do to improve the chance of your videos getting seen and engaged with.