How the Instagram Algorithm Works

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Instagram has recently changed the way their algorithm works. Get the breakdown of what this actually means for social media marketers and influencers.

In July 2016, Instagram changed their reverse chronological feed. As a result, users were missing 70% of all posts and 50% off their friend’s posts. Instagram decided to create a relevancy sorting algorithm. This new algorithm relies on machine learning that is based on your past behaviour in order to create a personalised feed.

What are the ranking factors for Instagram?

There are three main factors that determine your news feed. These are:

Interest
Instagram will predict which posts are most relevant to you. Therefore, pictures with a higher ranking on your news feed are the type of pictures that Instagram believes matters to you. This will be based on past behaviour and similar content.

Recency
As audiences pleaded for the return of a chronological feed, the app has included the date of the post into their algorithm. The app will prioritise more recent posts over those which are weeks old.

Relationship
This is dependent on the account who shared the posts. There will be a high ranking for accounts that you interact more with including comments and being tagged in their other photos.

Although these 3 factors are the most important, there are also others that come into consideration.

Frequency: How often you’re on Instagram as the news feed will try to show the best posts since your last interaction.
Following: If you follow lots of accounts, Instagram will try and include a wider array of accounts, therefore, you might see less of some accounts.
Usage: How long and how you behave on Instagram will influence your news feed. Whether its short session or choose deeper browsing, Instagram will adapt your feed.

How to improve your Instagram exposure

With a lot of changes on the algorithm, audiences are interacting more with the social media app’s other features. This includes Stories and IGTV. Also, try and get more people to engage specifically with your account through comments, tag people, or encourage DMs as this will aid the relevancy and relationship with your followers.

If you need help with your business Instagram, Thump has a dedicated social media team. Learn more about our social media marketing for businesses here.

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