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Cracking the Code: How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?

Updated: May 9


The Instagram Algorithm is the guiding force behind content visibility on the platform. This article explains its mechanics, recent updates, and strategies to maximize your reach.

Table of Contents:

1. What is the Instagram Algorithm?

The Instagram Algorithm is a system of algorithms that determines which posts users see and in what order. It consists of algorithms tailored for various content formats such as Reels, Stories, Feed, and Discovery Pages.


2. How Does Instagram Algorithm Work?

After you post something on Instagram, that post is initially shared with the first 10% of your followers—your most engaged followers who interact with your account. If your posts receive higher engagement from these individuals than your average engagement on your last 10-20 posts, the post is further pushed to other viewers, including non-followers. If your posts perform well, they are pushed even further, potentially landing on the Explore page and reaching a larger audience.


Pro Tips:

1. Schedule Posts with Meta Planner instead of other scheduling tools to achieve higher reach.

2. Post Stories from the Instagram Mobile App with engagement buttons and stickers to boost engagement.

3. Share Carousel Posts, which are displayed twice on the Feed (1st and 2nd page) and tend to garner high engagement due to longer reading times, saves, and shares.


3. What are the Most Important Metrics for the Instagram Algorithm?

The key metric to focus on is engagement, which includes saves, shares, comments, and likes. Encouraging these interactions is crucial for improving the visibility of your content.


Pro Tips:

1. Incorporate compelling Call-to-Actions (CTAs) in your posts to drive engagement. For example, “Save to view later” or “Comment below to…”.

2. Host Instagram contests, ask questions, or run giveaways to spark conversations and interactions.


4. Most Important Recent Changes to Algorithm:

1. Small Content Creators: Instagram has announced significant changes for small creators' posts visibility, prioritizing original content creators over content aggregators.

2. Instagram Post Formats: Recent changes have equalized the weight of single posts, carousels, and reels in the Algorithm's assessment. Before, reels were the primary way to grow.

3. Instagram SEO: Instagram now considers keyword information from post content, captions, and profiles for improved discoverability.

4. Instagram Hashtags: While still relevant, hashtags have diminished in importance, with around five hashtags per post being optimal. Additionally, Instagram is exploring longer Reels up to 3 minutes, offering increased visibility opportunities.


Pro Tips on Leveraging the Changes:

1. Incorporate keywords strategically into your content for improved SEO ranking.

2. Optimize your profile and bio with relevant keywords to enhance discoverability.

3. Experiment with posts without hashtags to gauge their impact on reach.


5. How to Educate the Instagram Algorithm?

Nurture your Instagram presence by engaging with relevant accounts in your niche. This signals to the Algorithm the types of content that are relevant to your audience.


How to Reset IG Algorithm?

If you notice decreased reach, consider taking a brief pause from posting for 2-3 days to a week. Avoid artificial tactics like purchasing followers, as they can harm both short-term and long-term growth.


Now you know how to make Instagram Algorithm work for you, you are ready to grow your business presence Instagram.


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