How does the Instagram algorithm work?
The Instagram algorithm is a complicated and ever-changing beast. It’s also one of the most influential social media algorithms in the world. So, how does it work? Read below to know more.
1: It gives more weight to posts with higher engagement
This means that a post that has a high number of likes and comments compared to other posts will be pushed up in the grid. If there are 2 posts – one which has 10 likes and no comments and another with 100 likes but also no comment – Instagram will prioritize the post with 100 likes as it would deem a higher priority than just 10 likes. This is because, as mentioned earlier, hashtags create best practice content which then gets engaged by those looking for such content through those very hashtags.
2: It gives higher priority to posts that were just posted as opposed to those that have been posted for a longer time
This is why you generally see the new posts appear before old posts on Instagram now. Longer-term users of Instagram appreciate this as it helps them gain more engagement with their content and also gain more followers since the algorithm helps newer posts get surfaced up in the grid which was one of the biggest problems long-term users faced!! But for most businesses, this change has become a nightmare as they don’t seem to be getting any engagement nor do they seem to be gaining new followers – what they probably don’t know is that good hashtags are good because they allow only like-minded people who’ve grown tired of looking at posts with no engagement to find your posts.
3: It bumps up posts with a high level of comments over those with a high number of likes
This is also logical as it would make sense to bump up the post which has more engagement regardless of whether it is a like or a comment. If there are 2 posts, one which has 100 likes and no comments and another with 5 comments but only 10 likes (10%), Instagram will give priority to the one with more comments (5) than likes (10%) which makes perfect sense! For your business, this means that it doesn’t matter if you get 1000 likes on your post but don’t get any comments. The algorithm will still prioritize your post over someone who gets say 50 likes but 6 comments.? Because conversation shows authenticity!
4: It contains an element of randomness
Now, this is interesting. While there is some degree of predictability to the Instagram algorithm, it will not be able to consistently give optimum results because the best possible solution for its users would be to boost engagement with all accounts equally and ensure that no one user has more priority over another based on their history which would again render the whole thing useless. This may be why you see your post jump up in the grid despite getting only likes not comments (why would someone like my picture but not comment?) or even without any interaction at all (when was the last time you saw a post that had 0 likes or comments).
5. It does not consider some older posts while bumping up newer ones
As users, we are used to seeing that our new posts get bumped up in the grid before the old ones. This is because of the above-mentioned four reasons but also there are other considerations at play here. Instagram knows that even though an older post may have gotten super good engagement, it will still be of interest to more people than a newer one would! So, even if your old post got 1000 likes over 6 months ago, today your new post will overtake it by showing more engagement without considering things like time passed since creation or even its creation date itself. These are just rough guidelines on how the algorithm works and it’s important for businesses.
The Instagram algorithm is complicated and it shapes how content on the platform is prioritized. This article has provided you with 5 ways to understand the Instagram Algorithm better so you can create high-quality, popular posts for maximum engagement.