Instagram is a powerful platform for marketing and branding. With over 1 billion active users and growing, it’s no wonder that so many businesses have taken to Instagram as their go-to social media platform.
But even with such popularity and growth, there are still some mysteries about the way the algorithm functions on this platform. In this article, we’ll explain exactly how the Instagram algorithm in 2022 works so that you can make sure your content gets seen by more people!
What is The Instagram Algorithm
Instagram’s algorithm ranks content, choosing what you see and in what order. The Instagram algorithm takes into account user behavior and content to serve the right content to the right people.
The Instagram algorithm is designed to give each user an enjoyable experience on the platform and to make you stay on their app longer by showing you content that you’ll find interesting.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri says the company wants to make the most of users’ time and believes the best way to do this is by personalizing experiences.
Instagram’s algorithm in 2022 has become an incredibly advanced system for identifying and displaying the content most relevant to each user.
If you work in the social media marketing field, knowing about the latest algorithm updates is a huge advantage.
You can customize your strategies to suit the patterns that algorithms prioritize — so you can reach a broad target audience and build a loyal following.
How Does Instagram Algorithm Work
Every part of the app uses its own algorithm that works differently. The Instagram Feed algorithm is different from the Explore page algorithm, and the Explore page algorithm is different from the Reels algorithm.
Now If you find your Instagram engagement down or your likes seem to be dropping, you might be wondering how the Instagram algorithm works and how to get more out of it.
For a better understanding of Instagram’s algorithm, let’s first take a look at its evolution and then discuss its most important factors.
In 2016, Instagram announced that it would change the way users see their feeds. Instead of seeing posts in reverse chronological order, it would be curated like on Facebook.
This means that posts would be prioritized based on your interests and timely updates. So now the new Instagram algorithm prioritizes posts related to users’ interests that are timely, fresh, and relevant.
What Are The Main Factors of The Instagram Algorithm
How is the Instagram algorithm calculated? It’s complicated, but in short, Instagram considers various signals such as user activity, post information, interaction history, and information about the content creator. Among the most important factors for the Instagram algorithm in 2022 are:
The more you interact with someone on Instagram, the more likely you are to see that person’s posts when they appear in your timeline.
Note: Business owners should take advantage of this: Active community management including responding to comments and DMs, can enhance their brand’s visibility.
The algorithm for Instagram serves users more of the content they tend to engage with.
Instagram determines the relevance of every piece of content through a combination of trending-topic analysis and timeliness.
Frequency of Using The Platform
Instagram will show you content based on what you like—but only if you give it a chance by using the app. Otherwise, it will only show you the most relevant content.
A person’s number of followers
When you follow a lot of accounts, your feed is filled with their updates.
If you don’t spend much time in the app, you won’t see posts from businesses or other people you don’t interact with often on the platform, making it harder for them to reach you.
In addition to these core signals, here’s how the Instagram algorithm distributes different types of content.
How Does Instagram Reels Algorithm Work in 2022
To maximize your reach on Instagram, you’ll want to learn how to hack the Instagram Reels algorithm. Instagram prioritizes Reels based on what it thinks you’ll want to watch and how likely you are to interact with a video once it starts playing.
The Instagram Reels algorithm takes into account the accounts you follow and those you don’t follow, trying to provide entertaining content that keeps viewers engaged. It uses the following criteria to evaluate this:
When you like or comment on a Reel, the Instagram Reel algorithm uses this information to understand what kind of content could be the most relevant to your interests.
When you watch videos on Reels, you’re likely to see content from creators you don’t follow yet. It‘s because if you already have interacted with the creator in some way, the Instagram Reels algorithm takes that into consideration too.
The Instagram Reel algorithm uses audio analysis, pixel and frame analysis, and popularity to guess what you’re trying to say.
Instagram Reels algorithm also looks at whether the person who posted the Reel has a lot of followers and receives likes and shares consistently.
Important Tips On Instagram Reels Algorithm
- According to Instagram (tips for getting discovered in the Reels tab), brands should create Reels that are entertaining, inspiring, or experimental and use creative tools like text, camera effects, or filters.
- When you create an Instagram Reel, try to make it stand out by sharing high-quality images that are not blurry or recycled from another app.
- Share your best Instagram Reels in your main feed. Hashtags make your content more discoverable, and captions help people understand your content.
How Does Instagram Explore Algorithm Work in 2022
When you go on Instagram’s Explore tab, the instagram explore page algorithm looks at the posts and accounts you’ve liked or interacted with most recently, and pulls in a collection of photos and videos from related accounts that you don’t follow yet!
When you scroll through your Explore page, the posts that show up are based on what the Instagram post algorithm thinks you’ll be most interested in, according to Instagram “The most important actions we predict in Explore include liking, saving and sharing.”
How the Instagram algorithm determines the order of feed posts and Stories
Over time, Instagram learned that people like to see content from their friends, family, and people they are close to in their feeds and stories. So it broke down the steps of how its Instagram ranking algorithm works.
Instagram uses all the information it has on your posts, the people you follow, and your interests. It calls these signals and there are thousands of them.
Based on their relative importance, the following are the most important signals for the Instagram stories algorithm and Feed:
The Post’s Information
These are signals about a post’s popularity, such as how many people have liked it. They include things like the length of a video, when it was posted, and any location information attached to it.
Information About the Person Who Posted
This feature helps Instagram suggest accounts that you might be interested in following, based on how many people have recently interacted with that person.
Instagram uses this information to make suggestions for you based on past activity and preferences.
Your History of Interacting With Someone
This tells Instagram how interested you are in seeing posts from a particular person. For example, if you like each other’s posts and comment on them, this tells Instagram that you’re probably interested in seeing posts from that person.
More Facts on Instagram Feed & Stories Algorithm
- Instagram makes predictions about how likely you are to interact with a post, based on your behavior. There are a dozen or so of these.
- Instagram looks at five factors when determining which of your posts to show to the most people: how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, reshare it, and tap on the profile photo.
- Instagram factors in a number of signals, including how likely you are to take an action when determining where to place a post in your feed.
- Sometimes Instagram tries to take other factors into consideration. For example, they try to avoid showing too many posts from the same person in a row.
- Another thing Instagram values less is re-shared Stories since people are more interested in seeing original Stories.
- Instagram has Community Guidelines that apply to all of Instagram. The most important of these rules keep you safe. If you post something that goes against the Community Guidelines and they find it, they take it down.
- Although Instagram doesn’t remove misinformation, they do apply a label and show the post lower in Feed and Stories. If you’ve posted misinformation multiple times, they may make all of your content harder to find.
How to use the Instagram algorithm for Story views
Many users suspect that the Instagram story viewer algorithm is in a particular order and wonder if it’s based on the frequency with which they interact with other users. According to Julian Gutman, product lead for Instagram Home, the profiles at the top of your Instagram story views list are based on who you engage with the most.
Don’t assume that just because someone is at the top of your viewer list that they visit your Instagram feed the most or watched your story multiple times. It’s simply an Instagram algorithm that shows who it thinks you’re closest to based on your activity.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work For Likes Order
Based on the Instagram likes algorithm, the people you see first in your followers’ list are often the people who engage with you most, and vice versa. These are the Instagram users you search for, like, and comment on their photos, or direct message – and they do it back.
How Does the Instagram Video Algorithm Work
To make it easier to find the content you care about, Instagram uses machine learning to prioritize the accounts and Videos you interact with the most. It searches through its content to find only the most relevant videos throughout the Explore page.
To maximize your IGTV explore page reach, post videos that include engaging captions and multiple relevant hashtags. You’ll also want to choose an eye-catching cover photo for each video or series you upload.
6 Ways to Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2022
If you want to improve your ranking with the algorithm on Instagram, one of the best Instagram algorithm hacks is to drive a lot of interactions. By leveraging your existing community to circulate content, you’ll find that your content reaches new audiences.
Here are six strategies to improve your Instagram algorithm ranking and reach new audiences as a part of your influencer marketing or brand awareness strategy:
1. Share Instagram reels regularly
Instagram Reels are still a major focus of Instagram’s advertising and marketing efforts. Plus, because Instagram Reels appear twice as often on the Explore page than on any other page in the app, they’re a great way to get your work seen by more people.
2. Stickers on Instagram Stories
Use stickers to encourage audience engagement and increase the chance that your post will be boosted by Instagram’s algorithm.
3. Engage your audience with captions and comments
Do you know how Instagram tells you your post is trending when it’s getting lots of likes and comments? Turns out those are really important if you want your posts to show up at the top of people’s feeds.
4. Use hashtags and keywords in your posts
When you add hashtags and keywords to your Instagram posts, you’re reaching a larger audience, which means the Instagram algorithm has more “views” to take into account.
5. Make Instagram content cross-promotable
If you want to improve your current Instagram algorithm ranking, cross-promoting your content is an easy and effective way to do so.
6. Check Instagram Analytics to see what’s working
One of the best ways to take on the Instagram algorithm is to track and monitor how your content is performing.
But you need to know diving into your Instagram Analytics means more than just finding out which posts performed well—you can see when they reached their peak, how many people interacted with them, and who your top followers are.
Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing (see the picture below), but that’s for a good reason: it ensures that the best content for each user is shown to that person, creating a more enjoyable experience on Instagram.
New Instagram Algorithm Changes in 2022
Instagram has been making changes to its algorithm, resulting in less engagement for some businesses and users. Luckily, it seems that Instagram is focused on improving its search results after years of negative feedback.
It seems as though Instagram may finally be making some changes to its algorithm that place a higher emphasis on the posts users care about most. So here are Instagram’s new algorithm updates in 2022:
- Reels have been the preferred media type on Instagram for a long time, and therefore, Instagram prefers Reels too. Instagram will continue to support the media format that is generating the most engagement on its platform. Instagram has been favoring Reels, so small business accounts that use them have been getting a lot of reach.
Instagram’s new algorithm for 2022 is beginning to factor in how well your Reels are performing in terms of these 3 metrics:
- Watch time
- AVD or Average View Duration
- One of the Instagram algorithm updates in 2022 is experimenting with a new full-screen format that takes up more of your screen. They said, “Your Instagram feed will become full-screen (9:16 ratio) when you open the app, and we’ll work to bring video more front and center.”
- A new “Following” and “Favorite” Home feed view lets you see posts from people and pages you follow in chronological order, without recommendations from our algorithm.
- Instagram is making it easier to discover content with the addition of suggested videos and photos in the default Home feed.
- Original content (content that hasn’t already been shared on the app) will be prioritized in the algorithm.
- Content that contains visible watermarks from other apps will be de-prioritized in the News Feed.
- Instagram’s algorithms are getting smarter at understanding what an image or video is about by looking at the keywords and other information in the post.
Read more: Why am I losing followers on Instagram?
The Instagram algorithm is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. The goal of this post was to provide a foundation for understanding how Instagram’s algorithm works and what you can do about it.
Instagram algorithm FAQ
1. How do I use the Instagram algorithm to my advantage?
Here are a few steps to help you increase your reach on Instagram so that the latest Instagram algorithms will push your content in front of new eyes:
- Post at the best of times
- Make Reels part of your Instagram content strategy
- Increase visibility with hashtags
- Use Instagram stickers to increase engagement
- Maintain a consistent posting schedule
- Follow the Instagram community guidelines
- Streamline your analytics reporting
2. What Engagements Are Most Important to the Instagram Algorithm?
The Instagram algorithm takes into account how likely you are to comment, like, save, spend time, or tap on a profile when deciding what posts to show you.
Creating content that encourages engagement can help you “hack” Instagram’s algorithm and get more reach, exposure, and followers.
3. Does Deleting Posts Affect the Instagram Algorithm?
No, there are no negative repercussions from mass deleting Instagram posts. The only thing you lose by deleting a post is the traction that the hashtag had given it. In other words, once the post is gone, so too is its popularity.
4. Do Comments Help the Instagram Algorithm?
Comments are the best way to let the algorithm know that your audience is interested in what you’re posting. So, encourage your readers to speak up whenever they can.
5. How to Fix the Instagram Algorithm?
- Stay up-to-date with trends to create relevant content
- Make sure you post when your audience is online
- Be sure to use the right hashtags
- Share carousels on your feed
- Keep posting reels on a regular basis
- Keep up with new content formats and features
- Write long captions
6. Does the Instagram Algorithm Prefer Reels?
Instagram says its algorithm promotes Reels. They get more views than regular Instagram videos. That’s why you should post Reels to help your visibility on the app.
7. How Does the Instagram Search Algorithm Work?
Once you tap the search bar on the Explore page, Instagram shows you your recent searches. As you begin typing a keyword, Instagram suggests relevant accounts, audio posts, hashtags, and places.
8. How Does the Instagram Algorithm Save Work?
The algorithm pays attention to what your followers do, so when a follower saves one of your posts on Instagram, the Instagram algorithm will position that post higher in your followers’ feeds and also on the explore page.
9. Do Archiving Instagram Posts Affect the Algorithm?
When you mass archive Instagram posts, while the content of your post is hidden, the metrics for likes and comments are still applied to your account. Archiving preserves your engagement metrics, so it doesn’t affect your profile when you archive certain posts.
10. How to Disable Instagram Algorithmic Feed?
In 2017, Instagram switched to an algorithmic feed. For five years, the platform didn’t offer a way to switch back to chronological order. Now, Instagram again offers a chronological timeline option.
Follow these steps to access the chronological timeline:
- Open the Instagram app.
- Tap the Instagram logo in the top-left corner.
- From the dropdown, select Following.
- This will give you new posts from your friends in chronological order.