Read about the algorithm which decides what and how much content you see!
When, in July of 2016, Instagram first introduced its algorithm; everything changed!
And since then, there is one question that still hasn't been answered properly and that is...
'How exactly does the Instagram feed work?'
‘How does Instagram's algorithm work?’
The question of this nature has puzzled marketers for years now. And that's one of the main reasons why we decided to take on this topic of Instagram Algorithm and share some valuable insights with our readers.
So let's start by breaking down the different segments of this process, keep on reading to know the working of Instagram Algorithm!
As per Instagram itself, there are three main principles that determine the content in a user's feed. These principles are as follows:
The Instagram application basically uses the technology of Image Recognition to evaluate the content of a particular Instagram post. For instance, if you frequently engage with posts that feature cats then the Instagram algorithm will give preference to cat-related videos and photos while organizing your Instagram feed.
This work-in-progress technology functions in a similar manner like hashtags, which also carries a lot of weight for advertisers as well as marketers. Here, timeliness can be referred to as the date and time at which an image or video is posted on Instagram. Also, it is very rare that a regular user will come across something that was posted more than a couple of days ago.
This algorithm by Instagram finally recognizes the importance of relationships in a user's life. This is another principle on which Instagram's feed is based upon as social media is all about building relations with family, friends, artists, celebrities, role-models etc..
Hence, the more you interact with them via comments, DMs, likes, tags etc, the more often they are likely to show up on their feed.
Earlier we discussed the main principles on which the algorithm of Instagram is based upon and now it’s time to look at the factors that are second-in-line. These three secondary ranking factors of Instagram can come in handy when you are trying to understand the Instagram Algorithm working:
This eventually pressures the social media platforms to expand their boundaries with respect to the content and user's preferences.
In order to know about how the algorithm of Instagram affects the normal users, you need to know about the entire process. Here is the step-by-step process that is currently being taken by Instagram to decide where and how to post a user's posts on the platform:
1. Post: Firstly, post something, i.e. an image or video by a user's account.
2. Exposure: When posted, the Instagram algorithm will show that post to a small portion of its total user base and will measure the engagement rate of the post in comparison to other posts based on similar content. This activity is performed for a few days before reaching a final decision.
3. Post Prioritization:
4. Account Comparison: Once Instagram knows the percentage of your audience interaction and engagement then it will measure how likely it is to be engaged to the other posts from other accounts that are available in the 'Follow' section.
The algorithm of Instagram simply calculates the post's engagement and then compares it with the user interaction of other posts, the higher engagement posts are then shown in users' Home Feed as well as the Explorer Page of Instagram.
When it comes to advertisements, advertisers are looking for effective marketing strategies that can stand out in the crowd. And Instagram is a great example of this, as it favors unique content. That means if your content is highly similar to the other posts then that means your visibility on Instagram will be lowered.
The new algorithm of Instagram mainly uses image recognition technology to organize posts based on image and video content instead of opting for hashtags. This can be referred to as a more effective way to avoid accounts that are spammy in nature.
This relationship factor can turn out to be highly informative as Instagram shows you the images/videos with which you interact most often. That's why users can refine their posts to maximize views and likes, as well as comments to ensure that they can achieve a high presence in others' feeds.
So basically as long as your content is similar to what your usual target rate, the algorithm will prioritize related content in your Instagram feed.
Now that we have discussed the fact that the total percentage of your audience directly depends on how the initial subset of users engages with the content that you post.
Below are the steps you need to take to create some highly engaging content, which are as follows:
One of the most crucial steps in making high engagement content is to measure engagement data and know what type of content catches the attention of your audience. But before you begin with engagement measuring, you need to create new content frequently.
Once that is done, you can go ahead and measure which posts have the highest audience engagement. Also, in order to find this information, users can use the Posts engagement data on your Instagram Insights page.
The next step you can work upon is that you can make your already existing high engagement content i.e. images and videos even better. Have a look at your engagement data and shortlist the types of posts your audience wants to see more, then work harder to update those types of posts even better visually.
The trend on Instagram changes on a monthly if not weekly basis that is connected to Instagram algorithm change, this requires users to keep their content in sync with the trend or else the engagement level will be low. So, the third step is to test new content as per your followers' taste and style, then track the progress of that content among your followers.
Here, you can also use the above-mentioned step to personalize your Instagram feed as per your preference and then check the rate of user engagement on it.
The thing with Instagram is that it is a company whose main objective is to maximize its revenue and earn a profit. This is done by maximizing the time their target audience spends on the platform. Being a social media platform, Instagram also has to attract the attention of advertisers.
In other words, to be change-resistant to the new Instagram algorithm you would have to deliver content that can receive high engagement from the audience. The chances of algorithms working in favor of high engagement content are more in comparison to posts that have low engagement user rates.
An important thing that you as a user need to keep in mind is that 'the algorithm will always change, but Instagram won’t. With that being said, we hope this article provided you with some great information regarding the Instagram algorithm and its working. And, in case you are interested in reading more such interesting articles then all you need to do is follow MobileAppDaily by clicking on the 'Subscribe' button.
She is a content marketer and has more than five years of experience in IoT, blockchain, Web, and mobile development. In all these years, she closely followed the app development, and now she writes about the existing and the upcoming mobile app technologies. Her essence is more like a ballet dancer.
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