Working the Instagram algorithm

If you use Instagram for your business or plan to in the future, it’s important to know how the Instagram algorithm works. Understanding the algorithm will help you develop your content for better reach and engagement.

In 2016, Instagram removed its reverse-chronological feed and began to focus on showing its users the “moments you care about first”. Essentially this means that Instagram gives greater visibility to the content that it thinks you’re most likely to be interested in by placing it nearer the top. Other content, even if it’s more recent, appears further down the feed and is less likely to be seen.

Even if you post regularly with the right hashtags there is no guarantee that your content will reach your target audience. This is especially true if your target users only spend short periods of time on Instagram as they’ll only catch the posts at the top of their feed.

Earlier this year, to address concern and misconception from Instagram users over the algorithm, the social media platform gave greater clarity in a series of tweets.


So, how does the Instagram algorithm work?

The three factors that the Instagram algorithm uses to determine which posts to prioritise are:

  1. Relationship – priority is given to content from accounts that users regularly interact with. If a user engages a lot with your content (e.g. comments or sends direct messages), they’ll be more likely to see your future content.
  2. Interest – the algorithm predicts which posts might be important to a user based on their past behaviour – not just in relation to your posts but what other content they browse on Instagram.
  3. Recency – although the chronological feed no longer exists more recent posts are shown first.

To grow your reach and engagement on Instagram you need to come up with a content strategy that matches what the algorithm wants. Here are 10 tips on how to use achieve Instagram success for your business.

Image credit: Pixabay

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