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Instagram is an increasingly popular platform in today’s world. With that being said, there are many aspects that go into the app’s ranking system. Below are the key aspects of how Instagram’s algorithm works.

Feed & Stories 

1. Information

When a story or post is shared, thousands of signals are used to determine the order in which the content is displayed. The first is the information about the post, including popularity, likes, time and where it was posted, and much more. 

2. Engagement

Engagement is also a huge factor. How much engagement the user has received in the past few weeks, as well as the engagement and activity they have put out, all play a role. If they have not been very active, such as liking and commenting, that will hurt them. 

From there, Instagram predicts how likely a user is to interact with the post. The more likely it predicts you will interact, the higher the ranking factor.

Instagram Engagement

Instagram Explore Algorithm

The Instagram Explore algorithm is a little different because it is strictly accounts that you don’t already follow. With that being said, it still works similar to the feed and stories, as it gathers signals from a user saving, commenting, and liking. 

1. Like-minded content

So to find relevant content from accounts that a user isn’t already directly connected with, the algorithm uses your interaction to find like minded content. For example, if you like a picture from a travel blogger, Instagram goes and looks at who else liked that travel blogger’s picture  and what other accounts those individuals are interested in. 

Like-minded content

2. Engagement

After the explore algorithm finds posts you may be interested in, it ranks them using the same signals as the main feed and stories. 

3. Guidelines

Lastly, content on the explore page must pass a set of guidelines that is unique to content recommendations. So just because it is acceptable for the main feed, doesn’t mean it is acceptable for the explore page. 


So there you have it: how Instagram’s algorithm works. At Light Up Digital Marketing, we can help you optimize this algorithm, leading to greater business exposure. Give us a call at 813-833-1282 or contact us online today to learn more.