Instagram's algorithm doesn't have to be a mystery. And once you understand it, you can use it to your advantage.

Instagram’s algorithm is all about its users. They want people to spend time on the app so they prioritize accounts that keep people engaged. So, the one thing to remember: the more your content is engaged with, the more Instagram will like you. Let’s break that down a bit.

Instagram relies on users' past actions to dictate their feed.


Even if someone follows exactly the same accounts as someone else, their feeds will be different. Instagram places importance on how users interact with content, so the accounts you engage with more often will be given priority on your feed. This results in more curated exposure for your brand, and Instagram benefiting with increased user-time on the app.

They determine priority based on three main factors.

The three main factors Instagram uses to decide priority:


Interest

Instagram predicts whether or not you’ll engage with a post based on your past behaviour. Liked a photo of a juicy cheeseburger in the past? Congratulations, your feed is dominated by food posts.

This is good news for brands and businesses on IG. The audience your posts are showing up in front of are likely targeted because they have a pre-existing interest in your brand. Use this by staying consistent with your brand values, voice, and content type. We cannot stress this enough: Give the people what they want.

Timeliness

Instagram gives priority to more recent posts. This factor is important to remember, you want to keep posting to stay relevant. Just like Google likes an active site, Instagram likes an active user.

Relationship

Instagram gives higher priority to your besties, friends, and fam. They predict your relationship based on how much you’ve interacted in the past. This factor proves the importance of community management for a brand’s Insta. You need to interact with your followers, repost their UGC, and make them feel as though they know your brand personally.

 

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Algorithm myths, rumours, and conspiracy theories debunked.


The team at Instagram spoke up on Twitter, attempting to put user minds at ease regarding all of the fake news circulating behind their algorithm.

Chronological Order.

One thing is for certain, reverse chronological order (or better known as simply chronological order) will not be returning to Instagram. Despite how much and how often people ask for it, Instagram says they know better.

The Shadowban.

Instagram says it doesn’t hide users posts. The Shadowban is not a real thing. Those who are paranoid that perhaps Instagram did hide some of their posts perhaps need to take a look at what and how they’re posting. After a drop in engagement, ask yourself (and answer honestly) am I spamming my followers with poor quality content? Do I need a social media management team to help me? (We can help you).

IG does not automatically prioritize photo or video format.

Remember, IG does prioritize content engaged with for users. So, if you’re constantly stopping to watch videos but scrolling past photos, Instagram will probably show you more video content.

The algorithm doesn’t care about Stories.

Constantly posting Stories or doing Live videos won’t make IG like you any more or less. But, Stories can help your brand in a number of other ways.

Business vs Personal.

IG doesn’t care if your account is for business or personal reasons. They also don’t give extra feed presence to verified accounts. Everyone gets the same opportunity on a feed. Again, the things that matter are an increase in engagement; a perfectly curated business account is probably going to be shown more to their followers than a personal, disorganized one.