Instagram Algorithm

What’s the Secret Behind the Instagram Algorithm 2023, and How Does It Works?

Hello, Instagram. I have noticed some distinctive changes whenever I open my newsfeed. So, I thought to ask you what you are up to these days. What’s new is cooking in your head now? Are you working on the Instagram algorithm again?

Well, we are juggling with the same thoughts in our heads. Right? So, if you are an Instagram Queen or King, you may have noticed a long thread of changes since the day it launched.

Instagram is the most popular social media network for sharing pictures and a great way for brands to reach their audience. As the platforms’ popularity rises, Instagram is making changes to how users see their feeds.

If you are marketing online to gain Instagram followers either using the Instagram management tool or the Instagram app, you realize how important it is to stay updated to grow your Instagram followers. The algorithm is making a significant impact on the online social media marketing world, and it’s essential to stay aware of how it will affect your business.

To all Instagram enthusiasts, get ready to dive into the world of algorithms. Hold a tumbler of your smoothies, sit back and scroll down to unveil the secrets of the Instagram algorithm in 2023.

What Is the Instagram Algorithm?

Do you know? The Instagram algorithm just isn’t a single algorithm working. Still, multiple algorithms, processes, and classifiers work together to display the right content to the audience at the right time.

The algorithm is revamped every time so that an Instagrammer can spend quality time on the app and enjoy their time. The Instagram users keep scrolling the newsfeed to see posts and ads, which eventually turn more revenue to Instagram. So, the IG algorithm works to keep the users hooked up with the tempting content and spend more time scrolling the app.

Do you know what’s the worst part? When an Instagram user gets bored of the content they are seeing and leaves the app, that’s the point where the IG algorithm jumps into play.

The algorithm makes sure that the users do not get bored of the app and keep them engaged by the content they want to see. For instance, sometimes Instagram shows you the engaging posts by your connections, close friends, and the other Instagram users they are likely to interact with. Sometimes it shows you the posts that Instagram thinks a user will be interested in seeing.

However, the major goal of the IG algorithm is to engage the users with fresh and engaging content every time they scroll through the newsfeed.

How Does the Instagram Algorithm Works?

With Instagram being a great social platform to share photos and videos, it is hard to pinpoint which posts go viral and stay stagnant. Instagram‘s newest update to the algorithm has enticed marketers from around the world to invest their resources in the platform. So, how does the Instagram algorithm work, and can you beat the system? Time to dive in!

You may have noticed that a fresh new post always pops up every time you open a newsfeed. That’s the IG algorithm doing wonders to your newsfeed. It actually uses machine learning that customizes the priorities of the posts for each user, looks at the accounts you have interacted with before. After utilizing those interactions, it suggests the content.

But how does Instagram decide the priority of the posts?

Basically, the algorithm decides which content should be at the top of your newsfeed. So, every single time when a user opens the app, Instagram brushes the newsfeed through all the available posts and then decide:

  • Which post is likely to go at the top of your newsfeed and in which sequence?
  • Which posts should feature on the Explore tab?
  • Not only that, the order for all the stories, live videos, IGTV, and reel videos are displayed in the newsfeed and their respective tabs.

Back in the years, when Instagram was launched in 2010, it was just a single frame of images with chronological order. But soon Instagram gained popularity and people started using the app, it became impossible for people to see everything on the newsfeed.

In the year 2016, almost 70% of the users weren’t able to see all the posts on the newsfeed which includes the posts from their close friends. So, Instagram came up with the solution and developed a feed that ranked the posts on the newsfeed.

Not just newsfeed, but each part of Instagram has a different algorithm behind either its IG reel algorithm, Instagram stories algorithm or explore tab. So, if the users want to see the stories of close friends or they want to explore something different from the Explore tab. Instagram has successfully ranked all the different parts of the app and it is exactly based on how people use it.

So, we have discussed how the Instagram algorithm works right? But you may be wondering how Instagram evaluates the content whether it is interesting or not.

Just to decide the top priority of the post, Instagram considers the individual points that are called the ranking factors. Later, Instagram revealed the top six factors which decide the priority of the posts. These top ranking factors are as follows.

IG algorithm ranking factors

  • Interest
  • Timelessness
  • Relationships
  • Frequency
  • Following
  • Session time

Here we have broken down how each ranking factor work:

    1. Interest

      So, how does the IG algorithm recognize your interest? Instagram keeps a sharp eye on your interests, it looks at all your past activities and captures your potential interest.

      For instance, if you are interested in a particular genre and you have searched for it frequently  (food or places) then Instagram might rank these posts on the top of your newsfeed.

    2. Timelessness

      The next key factor we have is Timelessness. Instagram prioritizes and shows you the posts that are recent and relevant.

      For instance, if you are scrolling through your Instagram feed at 9 pm and then you again check your feed at 8 am the next morning, then Instagram would sort out all those posts that have been created between your check-ins.

    3. Relationships

      Instagram determines the accounts you usually interact with because it doesn’t want you to miss out on any essential post from your close friends. That means, all those posts from your close friend’s lists will be ranked at the top of your newsfeed.

      Basically, the IG algorithm tracks your profile searches and then prioritizes the post accordingly.

    4. Frequency

      Heading towards our next key factor which is frequency. Every time, when you open Instagram you usually see a different feed every time, it’s because of the frequency key factor. So, if you open an Instagram app daily it will likely show you the most relevant content.

    5. Following

      For instance, if you have followed so many accounts then Instagram sorts out all the content to display every time you open your Instagram account. Let us simplify this, the accounts that have a huge number of following then accounts see fewer posts from individual accounts whereas the accounts with minimum following tend to see more posts from close friends.

  1. Session Time

    Whether you use Instagram for a short or longer session, it will definitely affect your Instagram algorithm. For instance, if a user tends to prefer less time on Instagram, then the algorithm ensures that the user sees the most relevant posts and for those who tend to spend longer time then the IG algorithm provides a detailed catalog of fresh content.

That’s how Instagram’s six ranking factors work or your feed to provide you fresh and relevant content every time you open the app. That’s actually the secret behind the IG algorithm.

The only important thing to know about Instagram’s secret algorithm is that it exists! Once you realize this and how to use it, you can develop strategies to increase exposure for your posts, find new content that you never knew existed, and discover useful hashtags. Hopefully, now the Instagram algorithm will be a little easier for you to grasp.

Related Article: Why and How to Schedule Instagram Posts?

How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Instagram Stories in 2023IG stories algorithm

Undoubtedly, Instagram stories fall into the categories of favorite features from Instagram. Instagram stories are a very powerful way to not only reach a vast and engaged audience but also to get relevant feedback on your content, products, and services.

Since the stories are short-term, you have far less time for them to be ignored. If your business has been dabbling with Instagram, now is the time to fully embrace the platform for all its value.

So, when it comes to the Instagram algorithm for stories then it is pretty similar to the Instagram feed. IG stories algorithm quickly determines the people you most engaged with and then displays their stories at the beginning, so that you don’t miss out on your close friend’s stories.

That’s how the algorithm does wonders to IG stories. When you open the app, every time you see new stories at the top of your newsfeed and ultimately your eye catches the stories before you scroll through the app and this story feature is launched for binge-watching.

However, uploading stories regularly can increase your followers and Instagram engagement. Make sure to keep your posts genuine and consistent, share top-notch content while utilizing key hashtags. By doing so, you can bank on a positive experience for all concerned, showing your content to a wider audience while connecting with new potential followers.

Schedule Your Posts and Stories Ahead of Time

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How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Feed PostsIG feed algorithm

The Instagram feed algorithm is set up to rank your posts by quality rather than relevance. That is, who you follow and the quality of your posts will influence how many people will see your content.

The new Instagram feed algorithm places posts in a way that it believes you will like and react to at the top. These posts are often related to likes, comments, and profiles you’ve interacted with and this is known as a score of interest. So if you’re not having as many interactions with people, this might be because your posts aren’t coming up underwater.

Well, the IG algorithm uses the four key factors to feed posts. Let’s have a look

  • Information related to the post: Whether the post is a video or a picture? The time when it was posted and total likes on the following visual content.
  • Information related to the poster: Is the post interesting? Is the user on a friend list? How often does the user engage with this content?
  • User Activity: Does the user watch alot of videos on Instagram? What type of content does the user prefer?
  • User Interaction History: How often does the user like or comment on the poster’s post?

When Instagram determines all the above information, then it starts to calculate the interaction of others on your posts and after determining the whole process IG algorithm shows the posts on the newsfeed.

Here is a tip for your IG feed posts, Make sure that your content is good and genuine. It can definitely be a mere first step towards understanding the ins and outs of the IG algorithm. Also, you can try Instagram automation to save your extra time and energy.

Related Article: 12 Proven Instagram Metrics to Track Your Success in 2022

How the Instagram Algorithm Works for IG Reels in 2023IG reels algorithm

If you want to get into the world of Instagram videos, it’s the creativity and film making skills from the Instagram reels that will help you stand out.

When you see reels on your screen, it’s the Instagram reels algorithm behind it. Basically, Instagram predicts how often does the user watches the reels and engages with them? Then the IG determines your specific information:

  • User’s Activity (which reels the user has viewed and how lately the user engages)
  • User’s history of interaction with the following account
  • Information about the reels
  • Information about the poster

That’s how the Instagram reels algorithm works. Now avail yourself of Instagram’s simple video features and dedicate yourself to creating unique and eye-catching short clips. Keep the sound down and aim for the maximum length of 60 seconds. Progress comes from testing different styles, techniques, and strategies to make your videos more interesting than the Instagram reels of your competitors.

Put your new skills to good use. Create a reel for your small business and use it as a way to advertise and promote your business. If you are running a large enterprise then you can use IG reels as a way to showcase all of the amazing things that you have accomplished throughout the years. Come up with new and unique content for reel to impress anyone that matters in the social media world.

Featured Article: Harness the Real Power of LinkedIn Videos

How the Instagram Algorithm Works on the Explore Page in 2023IG explore algorithm

The IG explore tab is one the best features of Instagram and it has gained a lot of traction in a short span.

Of course, there is an IG algorithm doing wonders behind the explore page. It’s no longer secret that IG’s algorithm for the feed and explore page is pretty similar as it displays the content it predicts that a user will be interested in.

Well, there is a little difference between the IG feed posts and IG explore page. IG feed is created with the accounts we are connected with or follow. Whereas the IG explore page is all created up with the accounts we don’t follow. It’s just the IG algorithm that determines the interest based on the following things:

  • Information related to the post: It contains all the metrics including the popularity of the post, engagement, total likes, and comments.
  • User’s history of interaction: It also checks the user interacted with the person’s on their content in the past or recent.
  • User’s Activity: It includes the type of content the user usually likes, shares, saves or users interacts with the explore page.
  • Information related to the person who has posted: How many people usually interact with the person who has posted the content.

Well, the explore tab has made it easier for users to filter posts by are. It allows users to discover new content, and “recommended for you” posts which are based on users’ past followers, likes, and comments. This is only the beginning of a very conversational Instagram world, which is sure to bring both businesses and users alike closer together in the years to come.

However, it’s so true Instagram explore tab is a great way to find things that you might not find in other places, from travel photos to fashion products, to tutorials and some really creative photography. Instead of just relying on hashtags that might or might not be relevant to you, mix it up and try exploring what else is out there. You never know what you’ll find!

How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Business, Creator, and Personal Accounts in 2023IG creators IG creators

When the IG revamped the algorithm, there were rumors that the IG algorithm would work differently for businesses, creators, and personal accounts.

Later, Instagram shut down all the rumors and confirmed it through the creators.

Here’s what Instagram said for the creators, business, and personal accounts.

So, this all means that either the user has a business account, creator, or personal, the IG algorithm will work similarly for all and it makes no difference when it comes to the ranking of your content.

Instagram Algorithm for Story Views

Instagram stories have taken over the world with the storm and it is more interesting and exciting than posting a visual on Instagram.

So, have you ever wondered hows does IG determines which story to put at the first? Well, there are so many myths and speculations made but still, it’s like a mystery.

Some resources believe that Instagram determines that the stories are viewed in chronological order which is partially correct but other sources believe that the Instagram story views depend on the number of story views.

But, after the research, it was determined that the Instagram algorithm for story views works similarly to the IG feed algorithm. It determines how interested a user is in the specific profile, post, content, or relationship with the person who has shared the IG stories.

Featured Article: 12 Effective Ways to Use Instagram for Small Business

Strategies and Tactics to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm

Here we have narrowed down a long list of strategies and tactics that show you how to outsmart the Instagram algorithm.

  1.   Upload Quality PicturesIG Quality picture

    If you are determined to make a high-quality impression on your audience, think in advance about which of your photos will do the wonders. Taking the time to develop a creative concept or theme for your page will allow for a larger number of memorable posts, and even better. Well, the best practice is to always shoot high-quality pictures on Instagram that are sharp and clear.

    This way it’s more likely that someone will click on a picture, follow you and be interested in what you post. You can even use Instagram hacks to make your IG profile more lively.

  2. Post Instagram Stories ConsistentlyIG story

    There is no denying that Instagram stories have become a very popular way of sharing memories with others. Post interesting content, like stories about the things you like most in life, such as your pets, your travels, your business, or even things that are happening around you in the present moment.

    Using images from your mobile phone’s camera roll will allow you to post exciting content whenever you want. Stories are created to be seen for only 24 hours for good reason. It creates a sense of urgency to see how your friends are doing or what you’ve missed in their lives. Take advantage of the opportunity and step up your social media game using the Instagram algorithm tactics.

  3. Upload More Video Content


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

    Instagram video posts have 2x times more engagement than the other posts.  So that means, if you aren’t posting video content, you’re missing out on that much of an opportunity.

    So if you are posting a video on Instagram make sure the key here is to make it as engaging as possible in a short time frame. The ideal duration for an Instagram video is 2 – 15 seconds long.

    Remember to use short clips and short clips only. Your unique selling proposition should be mentioned at the beginning of the video with an action step (call to action) at its end (a link for more information or details about.

  4. Create Compelling CaptionsInstagram Captions

    A lot of people find their Instagram captions interesting and fun. But to really make your caption stand out, it should be something that could inspire a spontaneous discussion with a stranger.

    Whether you’re running Instagram for your store, blog, or personal social media account, there are certain benefits to adding captions under your Instagram photos. Rather than simply adding text over images to caption them, you’re able to effortlessly drag text boxes on top of your photos, allowing you to take full advantage of the photo’s original pixel size.

    However, using a compelling caption is one of the best tips to outsmart the IG algorithm, so be captivating and unique!

  5. Use the Power of HashtagsInstagram hashtags

    Hashtags make it easier for people to find your content on Instagram. You can use hashtags to make your posts visible to more users.
    Whether you’re trying to reach a goal faster or simply experimenting with an idea to attract new followers – hashtags can play a major role in sprucing up your Instagram posts and attracting a new audience.

    So be sure to use hashtags consistently and organically. For example, if you’re posting a photo of yourself with friends and family, the hashtag #family will be appropriate for those that want to see photos. If you’re posting something specific and unique, then use the related hashtag to get it out there.

Learn About Other Network Algorithms

Are You Ready to Take On the New Instagram Algorithm?

As an Instagram enthusiast, it is pretty difficult to know the algorithm, the changes, and how Instagram implements them. It’s really hard to keep up with the ever-changing IG algorithm.

Although Instagram’s algorithm is a bit of a mystery, there are ways that you can go about increasing your chances of reaching the trending page.

The best way to get in front of the user’s eyes is through posting content with substance and relevance for your followers. When you post, be relevant and select the best time for your followers to engage with your content.

Frequently Answered Questions

  1. How Do I Fix My Instagram Algorithm?
    You can fix the IG algorithm by the following tactics:

    • Go live
    • Contests and giveaways
    • Post during peak hours
    • Lean in on the reels
    • Use hashtags
  1. How to Reset Instagram Explore Page?
    Ans.  Here’s how you can reset your explore page. Follow the given steps.

    • Open the Instagram app.
    • Click on the top right side and then tap on settings
    • Go to ‘Security’
    • Scroll down and tap on ‘Search history’
    • Now clear all the history, this will delete all your search history and ultimately, it will reset your explore page.
  1. Why Was the Instagram Algorithm Changed?
    Ans. The algorithm was changed so that Instagram focuses more on recent content rather than on the content that has gotten the most engagement.
  1. What Things Do You Think Instagram Cares About?
    Ans. Instagram cares about the full screen and high-quality visuals, popular accounts, and content relevant to your audience.
  1. What Does a Regular Instagram User Want From the App?
    Ans. The ability to post interesting photos and videos that they can share with the world in real-time and share their posts with their friends.
Yumna Hafeez

Yumna Hafeez

I am a part of the #ChampFam designated as a content writer who likes to write with a side of coffee. Other than spending a whole lot of my time on social media, I also like to watch a gazillion horror movies. I am a shoe enthusiast and I am always on the lookout for fun sneakers! Hit me up for anything (including fun shoe suggestions) at [email protected]

4 thoughts on “What’s the Secret Behind the Instagram Algorithm 2023, and How Does It Works?”

  1. Hey! Just read your full article and I must say you have narrowed down all the important stuff. Here I have a question, does the Instagram algorithm affect your followers?

  2. Hey Maddox, the algorithm monitors the user’s interactions and previous history, and then it sorts out the posts and shows it on your newsfeed or explore page.

  3. Never knew that this is how Instagram has been tracking our interests and history 😀 Thank you for letting us know about the Instagram algorithm so nicely.

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