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Decoding Instagram’s Feed Algorithm

instagram feed

Decoding Instagram’s Feed Algorithm

Instagram customers had been missing 70 % of all posts and 50 % of their friends’ posts prior to the app ditched the reverse chronological feed for an algorithm in July 2016. Regardless of backlash about confusing ordering, Instagram now says relevancy sorting has led to its 800 million-plus customers seeing 90 % of their friends’ posts and spending much more time around the app.


However Instagram has by no means explained precisely how the algorithm chooses what to show you till these days. The Facebook -owned business assembled a group of reporters at its under-construction new San Francisco workplace to take the lid off the Instagram feed ranking algorithm.

instagram feed algorithm explained

Instagram’s Feed Ranking Criteria


Instagram relies on machine studying primarily based in your previous behavior to make a distinctive feed for everybody. Even when you adhere to the precise exact same accounts as somebody else, you will get a customized feed primarily based on how you interact with these accounts.


3 primary elements figure out what you see inside your Instagram feed:


  1. Interest: Just how much Instagram predicts you will care about a post, with greater ranking for what matters to you, determined by previous behavior on comparable content material and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content material from the post.
  2. Recency: How lately the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts more than weeks-old ones.
  3. Relationship: How close you’re towards the individual who shared it, with greater ranking for individuals you have interacted having a lot previously on Instagram, like by commenting on their posts or becoming tagged with each other in pictures.

signals for instagram feed


Beyond these core elements, 3 extra signals that influence rankings are –


  • Frequency: How frequently you open Instagram, because it will attempt to show you the very best posts because your final go to.
  • Following: In the event you adhere to lots of individuals, Instagram will probably be choosing from a wider breadth of authors so you may see much less of any particular individual.
  • Usage: How lengthy you invest on Instagram determines if you are just seeing the very best posts throughout brief sessions, or it is digging deeper into its catalog in the event you invest much more total time browsing.


Instagram Myth-busting


Instagram’s group also responded to numerous from the most typical concerns and conspiracy theories about how its feed functions. OptInsta cannot confirm the accuracy of those claims, but this really is what Instagram’s group told us:


  • Instagram isn’t at this time contemplating a choice to determine the old reverse chronological feed simply because it does not wish to add much more complexity (customers may neglect what feed they’re set to), however it is listening to customers who dislike the algorithm.
  • Instagram doesn’t hide posts within the feed, and you will see every thing posted by everybody you adhere to in the event you maintain scrolling.
  • Feed ranking doesn’t favor the photo or video format universally, but people’s feeds are tuned primarily based on what sort of content material they engage with, so in the event you by no means quit to watch videos you may see fewer of them.
  • Instagram’s feed does not favor customers who use Stories, Reside, or other unique attributes from the app.
  • Instagram does not downrank customers for posting as well often or for other particular behaviors, however it may swap in other content material in in between someone’s if they rapid-fire separate posts.
  • Instagram does not give additional feed presence to individual accounts or company accounts, so switching will not assist your attain.
  • Shadowbanning isn’t a genuine factor, and Instagram says it does not hide people’s content material for posting as well numerous hashtags or taking other actions.


Today’s Instagram whiteboard session with reporters, its initial, ought to go a lengthy method to clearing up misunderstandings about how it functions. When individuals really feel confident that their posts will attain their preferred individuals, that they are able to reliably develop a public audience, and that they’ll usually see fantastic content material, they’ll open the app much more frequently.


However around the horizon looms an issue comparable to what Facebook’s algorithm skilled about 2015: competitors reduces attain. As much more customers and companies join Instagram and post much more frequently, but feed browsing time stays steady per user, the typical post will get drowned out and obtain fewer views. Individuals will inevitably complain that Instagram is attempting to force them to purchase advertisements, but it is a all-natural and inevitable consequence of increasingly well-liked algorithmic feeds.


The much more Instagram can disarm that issue by pushing excess content material creation to Stories and educating customers about how the feed operates, the much less they’ll complain. Facebook is currently uncool, so Instagram should remain in our great graces.