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How does the Instagram Algorithm work?!

When Instagram introduced the use of an algorithm all agencies, influencers and Etsy Resellers cried out loud!

Instagram has everyone worrying they won’t be able to reach their audience any longer or that Instagram will be a pay to play arena like Facebook. The opposite happened. Due to the fact that 70% of all posts were never displayed to the audience as the platform used to show posts in the reverse chronological order.

Anyhow, long story cut short, Instagram’s product lead Julian Gutman explained the algorithm in a recent blog post and here at Prestige social media Adelaide, we thought we would simplify it for all of you out there!

Believe it or not, the Instagram Newsfeed is based on machine learning. That means, your Instagram account learns from your digital behaviour. There are 3 main factors that influence what is shown to you:

1. Interest: What you click and like is what Instagram believes is of interest to you. Therefore, the more you click on things, the more often you will see similar posts.

2. Recency: Posts that were shared recently are showed with a higher priority. It’s logical that they want to keep user’s news feeds fresh.

3. The more you interact with an account, the more their posts will pop up in your newsfeed. Commenting, tagging, liking that all is taken into account when you are engaging with someone’s content.

These factors are the same the Facebook algorithm uses when determining what should appear in your newsfeed and what shouldn’t. However, Instagram adds a couple of more interesting aspects to the mix:

  1. Frequency: Depending on how often you open the app, your newsfeed will try to feature the best performing posts first. The ones with lots of engagement or the most recent ones from your best mates, that is.
  2. Following: if you tend to follow heaps of accounts, Instagram will pick the best performing accounts and show their stuff to you first.
  3. Usage: If you are spending a lot of time on Instagram, the algorithm will need to dig out more content than for a frequent user. So the length of your visit matters to the amount of pictures shown to you.

Interestingly enough, Instagram doesn’t favour accounts that make use of Instagram stories, Live or other Instagram features. We think, it’s only a matter of time till that will be introduced though.

Another interesting fact is that Instagram doesn’t seem to care if you have a business or a private account. Swapping from one to another has not proven any difference in newsfeed performance.

Did you know that Shadowbanning is not a real thing? Yes, that’s one of the myth that TechCrunch has found out recently. Instagram says it doesn’t hide people’s content for using too many hashtags. However, what you can expect is that competition will increase and therefore reach will decrease. Same happened with the Facebook algorithm a couple of years back and the only way to get out of that corner was to utilise facebook ads for reach. This is a natural and inevitable consequence for Instagram and just a question of time till we will see Instagram users competing for space as you would on Facebook.

 

When Instagram introduced the use of an algorithm all agencies, Influencers and Etsy Reseller cried out loud, worrying they won’t be able to reach their audience any longer or that Instagram will be a pay to play arena like Facebook. The opposite happened. Cause 70% of all posts were never displayed to the audience as the platform used to show posts in the reverse chronological order.

Anyhow, long story cut short, Instagram’s product lead Julian Gutman explained the algorithm in a recent blog post and here at 4Dp, we thought that’s a pretty cool thing to share.

Believe it or not, the Instagram Newsfeed is based on machine learning. That means, your Instagram account learns from your digital behaviour. There are 3 main factors that influence what is shown to you:

1/ Interest: What you click and like is what Instagram believes is of interest to you. So the more you click on things, the more often you will see similar posts.

2/ Recency: Posts that were shared recently are showed with a higher priority. It’s logical that they want to keep user’s newsfeeds fresh.

3/ The more you interact with an account, the more their posts will pop up in your newsfeed. Commenting, tagging, liking that all is taken into account when you are engaging with someone’s content.

These factors are the same the Facebook algorithm uses when determining what should appear in your newsfeed and what not. But Instagram adds a couple of more interesting aspects to the mix:

  1. Frequency: Depending on how often you open the app, your newsfeed will try to feature the best performing posts first. The ones with lots of engagement or the most recent ones from your best mates, that is.
  2. Following: if you tend to follow heaps of accounts, Instagram will pick the best performing accounts and show their stuff to you first.
  3. Usage: If you are spending a lot of time on Instagram, the algorithm will need to dig out more content than for a frequent user. So the length of your visit matters to the amount of pictures shown to you.

Interestingly enough, Instagram doesn’t favour accounts that make use of Insta stories, Live or other Instagram features. We think, it’s only a question of time till that will be introduced though.

Another interesting fact is that Instagram doesn’t seem to care if you have a business or a private account. Swapping from one to another has not proven any difference in newsfeed performance.

Did you know that Shadowbanning is not a real thing? Yes, that’s one of the myth that TechCrunch has found out recently. Instagram says it doesn’t hide people’s content for using too many hashtags. However, what you can expect is that competition will increase and therefore reach will decrease. Same happened with the Facebook algorithm a couple of years back and the only way to get out of that corner was to utilise facebook ads for reach. This is a natural and inevitable consequence for Instagram and just a question of time till we will see Instagram users competing for space as you would on Facebook.

 

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