Here's how the Instagram algorithm works
How Instagram ranks content in feed, reels, stories and explore.
Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, just dropped a 10 minute reel explaining how the Instagram algorithm works.
He went into detail about how they rank content in feed, stories, reels and explore.
Here is the video. I’ll summarize it below and add my experiences that may be of value to you:
The higher the probability that the story will be opened, replied to, and reacted to – the higher the ranking.
They use signals to make these predictions – your history of viewing, interacting, and messaging with that author.
The goal is to catch you up with the very best of IG since you opened the app last.
For every post, they predict how likely you are to comment, like, share, tap on profile, and spend time viewing it.
They accomplish this by making predictions – using signals.
Order of importance of Signals:
Your history of interactions
Information about the post and its activity
Information about the author
Adam says predictions are imperfect, so user controls like favorites and following are important.
The goal of Reels is to entertain you, and they prioritize videos from accounts that you do not yet follow.
They make a series of predictions about each reel, to assess how interesting it may be to you.
Instagram takes a look at what you interact with, other people that interact with the same content – and what else they seem to be interested in.
Then, they go back into the same prediction pattern.
How likely you are to:
finish the reel
share the reel
go to audio of reel
The signals used for these predictions are similar to feed:
What you tend to be interested in on Instagram, what you've watched in the past, information on the reel and its author, etc.
Personal note: REELS are the game right now. This is your best chance of organic discoverability.
Adam also touched on shadow-banning, and debunked a popular myth:
They do not suppress reach, in order to make an account pay for ads.
He explains that their business interests are aligned with connecting people with the content that they are interested in.
Advice on how to grow on Instagram:
Lastly, Adam gave advice on how to grow your audiences on Instagram.
He says there are no silver bullets, but there are some things that seem to work:
Check your Insights to see what is working
Those last two points are incredibly important.
Instagram is making a real effort to distinguish between original content and aggregators.
They want to greatly diminish the reach of aggregators, to reward the original source of content with the engagement.
Creating original content, and posting in collaboration with other accounts of similar size, content and reach is how I have been able to grow my personal account by 150k followers, Eluna by 233k followers, and Metav3rse by almost 100k followers in the last 4 months.
I will focus more on collaboration through the rest of the year, as I think this is the most important ingredient for fast growth.
Hope you you learned something new.