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Instagram’s algorithm is what controls who sees the things you post and when they see them. Basically, it is the all-holy omnipresent god of one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. 

What is an Algorithm

 Technically speaking, an algorithm is “the set of rules a machine (and especially a computer) follows to achieve a particular goal”. This does not necessarily only apply to machinery or computers but in the case of social media, it does. 

The goal of Facebook’s (who owns Instagram) algorithm is very simple: Keep you on their website or app as long as possible. Despite the goal being obvious, their method is not. This is purposeful because the company does not want to give away its most powerful tool for capturing the attention of consumers.

The Algorithm’s Impact

There are five main parts of Instagram that are impacted and manipulated by the algorithm: feed posts, stories, the Explore page, IGTV videos, and Reels. Our main focus in this article will be on feed posts because that is the most popular way to distribute content.

First: a little background. For the vast majority of Instagram’s life, users saw posts based in reverse chronological order. Then, in 2016, the corporation changed its methods, citing usability errors.

Understanding the coding that goes into managing 1 billion+ user’s content can help you maximize Instagram as a tool and set yourself apart from everyone else. Instagram claims there are 6 key factors that influence its algorithm for feed posts:

  • Interest
  • Relationship
  • Timeliness
  • Frequency
  • Following
  • Usage

Maximizing the Six Key Factors

Straight from the horse's mouth: These are the key ingredients to becoming the Instagram mogul of your dreams. Remember, these things take time!


One of the most important things utilized by Instagram is the data collected by their software as it relates to interests. This is collected through information like who you follow, the posts you like, the people who most frequently like your posts, and posts that you search for.


The next piece of data that the algorithm uses is what accounts you seem to interact with and have a priority relationship with. For example, Instagram will show you posts from accounts that you have searched for recently, tagged in your own posts, and generally interacted with on a regular basis.


While Instagram has strayed away from chronological order, the algorithm is still likely to show recent posts. They may not appear in order of when they were posted, but time is still a factor.


Users that are Instagram lovers and frequent scrollers are more likely to see something that was just posted than inactive users. It is best to make sure that your follower base is mostly active users because this will increase post-interaction.


It is best to make sure that your follower base is mostly active users because this will increase post-interaction.


It is best to make sure that your follower base is mostly active users because this will increase post-interaction.

These are just a few simple tips to get started growing your Instagram following and increase your post-interaction. Be sure to leave a comment letting us know if you want similar tips for IG Stories, Reels, and IGTV videos! 


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Brett B.

Author Brett B.

Brett spends his days making beautiful graphics and videos. However, don’t expect this macho man to spend his time getting a pedicure. Brett would rather kick opponents in the face as a Krav Maga martial arts enthusiast and get dirty off-roading in his Jeep.

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