Instagram Algorithm 2023: Make Your Content Seen & Rule the Platform

Instagram Algorithm
Table of Contents

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 platform’s 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

The Instagram algorithm is a set of procedures the platform uses to determine user’s preferences. These procedures are utilized to gain information about what users like the most. Using data-driven insights, users on Instagram are presented with content that they like and enjoy the most.

However, contrary to beliefs that there must be a single algorithm managing the platform, each section of Instagram, be it Reels, Stories, Feed, or Explore, consists of an algorithm of its own and works according to the predefined rules within each 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 Instagrammers can spend quality time on the app and enjoy their time. Instagram users keep scrolling their newsfeeds 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 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 Work

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 and 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 a user opens the app, Instagram brushes the newsfeed through all the available posts and then decides:

  • 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.

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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
IG Algorithm Ranking Factors

Here we have broken down how each ranking factor works:

  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 at 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 p.m., and then you again check your feed at 8 a.m. the next morning, then Instagram will 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 posts 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 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 spend less time on Instagram, then the algorithm ensures that the user sees the most relevant posts and for those who tend to spend a 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 with 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 Has the Instagram Algorithm Changed in 2023

The Instagram algorithm is constantly changing. Hence, your Instagram marketing strategy requires a consistent tweak to get in sync with the algorithm and help you achieve a strengthened grip on each ranking factor.

In May 2023, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, discussed how Instagram’s algorithm is working in 2023 and what individuals and content creators should do to achieve sufficient visibility of their content within the platform. His discussion was segmented into algorithms for each section of the platform, particularly Reels, Feed, Stories, and Explore.

Let us dig deep into some important pointers from his discussion.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works for Feed Posts in 2023

IG feed algorithm
IG Feed Algorithm

The Instagram feed serves as a personalized home page for users tailored by the platform itself to suit their interests. The platform critically analyzes how a user engages with content on the feed, who posts that content, which format type is being liked by the user the most, whether it was shared from a phone or the web, and so on. Like simply, there are thousands of ‘signals’ that the platform considers before ranking content on the feed of each user.

Hence, to keep it short and simple for you, below are a few factors that the new Instagram algorithm considers while raking content on the newsfeed.

  1. Your Activity

    The platform tracks posts that you have liked, shared, commented on, or saved and predicts the content you might be interested in future.

  2. Information About the Post

    The platform gains information about each post uploaded within the platform. For example, it tracks when it was posted and what the location is and then analyzes how quickly people like or react to the post. Using these insights makes similar content visible to you on your feed.

  3. Information About Who Posted the Post

    Next, the platform studies the user who posted the content. It analyzes how often you have interacted with that user in the past few weeks and how interesting that person might be to you.

  4. Your History of Interaction With People

    This is to determine how often you have interacted with a specific person, how much you like, share, or save their posts, and if you regularly comment on each other’s posts. This information helps the algorithm determine your interest in specific individuals.

How the Instagram Stories Algorithm Works in 2023

IG stories algorithm
IG Stories Algorithm

Instagram Stories are one of the most phenomenal ways to depict your everyday life on social media in unique and creative ways. You can make your stories look cool, crisp, and engaging with little to no effort involved. However, what if they are left unseen by your targeted audience? Feels like a heartbreak, right?

That is how you can master the Instagram algorithm for stories in 2023.

  1. Viewing History

    This factor is crucial to determine whose stories you view the most so that the platform can prioritize them for you, ensuring that you do not miss out on stories from your favorite accounts.

  2. Engagement History

    Sending a like, reaction, or DM to any story predicts your interest in engaging with a specific account.

  3. Closeness

    This factor determines how close you are to a particular user and what is the probability of you connecting with them on Instagram.

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 IG determines which story to put at 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.

How the Instagram Reels Algorithm Works in 2023

IG reels algorithm
IG Reels Algorithm

Ask me what keeps me entertained all day long, and I will say, Instagram Reels. The platform ensures to personalize experiences for the audience by showing them Reels that resonate most with their interest. However, Reels that do not abide by the recommendation guidelines and policies of the platform are made less visible due to their nature of content, low resolution, or unauthorized watermarks.

Want to know what it takes to make your Reel evident to the best set of audience? Here are the factors that aid the visibility of Reels on Instagram.

  1. Your Activity

    The platform tracks Reels that you have liked, shared, commented on, or saved and predicts the content you might be interested in future.

  2. Information About Who Posted the Reel

    In this case, the platform analyzes the popularity metrics of the user who posted the Reel to bring more relevant content from a wide array of people who create content of the same niche.

  3. Your History of Interaction With People

    Scrolling down the Reels on your newsfeed, you do not always run into the content of people you know. You might see and like a Reel posted by someone you do not follow. So, the platform analyzes the potential of you liking their content in the future and brings to you all the relevant Reels they create.

  4. Information About the Reel

    The platform gains information about each Reel uploaded within the platform. For example, it tracks which audio the Reel has used, what the visuals are, what template is used, and shows you similar content in the future.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works on the Explore Page in 2023

IG explore algorithm
IG Explore Algorithm

The IG Explore tab is one of 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 the 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 whether the user interacted with the person on their content in the past or recently.
  • 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 area. 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 2023

With this question being answered by the platform itself, it is safe to say that no matter what type of account you own, the Instagram algorithm works more or less the same for each. So, be it a creator, business, or personal account, the only factor that matters in making it visible to the audience is your interaction with the content it posts and your interest in it.
IG explore algorithm

IG 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 whether 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.

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

10 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 Pictures

    IG Quality picture
    IG 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 Consistently

    IG story
    IG 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 Captions

    Instagram Captions
    Instagram 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 Hashtags

    Instagram hashtags
    Instagram 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.

  6. Engage With Your Audience

    From likes, comments, shares, and reactions, engagement matters a lot on Instagram. Hence, to make the Instagram algorithm work in your favor, a winning strategy to rely on is to interact with your audience as much as possible. And, trust me, this ain’t a lot difficult. You can execute a number of creative ideas, such as ‘Ask Me a Question’ stories, quizzes, trivia, giveaways, and a lot more.

    In addition, ensure to respond to the feedback of your audience frequently. React to their comments and messages actively. You can get your hands on a social media tool that offers a unified inbox feature to keep all the conversations aligned across your social media and make your interactions fruitful.

  7.  Post at the Best Time

    The time you post content on Instagram plays a crucial role in determining whether you will be able to get sufficient reach or your post will meet a dead end. It means you should post at a time when most of your target audience is active on the platform. Tools like Social Champ can help you in this regard by determining the best time to post on each platform by analyzing your analytics and audience demographics.

    Hence, all you need to do is to keep an eye on the best time slots and create a content calendar accordingly.

  8.  Ask Your Followers to Add Your Profile to their Favorites

    Instagram allows users to add profiles with relevant content to their ‘Favorites.’ It is a great way of controlling your newsfeed and personalizing it according to your interests. Even the platform itself suggests that posts from accounts that are in Favorites appear more frequently in the newsfeed than other posts.

    Hence, it is for sure a winning tip to try and make yourself more visible across the platform.

  9.  Cross-Promote Your Content on Instagram

    Collaborate with influencers or content creators from relevant niches and cross-promote your content on Instagram. This technique will introduce you to the audience of your collaborator/partner, significantly adding to your reach, following, and engagement.

  10. Measure Your Performance Consistently

    Track your performance metrics and analyze what is working for you and what’s not. Get your hands on social media monitoring tools and keep an eye on how your performance graph is elevating to improve and become better.

    Learn About Other Network Algorithms

Rule Instagram by Mastering the 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. Hence, all you need to do is to be vigilant of what is happening in the world of Instagram. Stay updated and aligned with the factors that can make or break your presence on Instagram and become a pro of Instagram management.

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

2. How to Reset Instagram Explore Page?

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.

3.Why Was the Instagram Algorithm Changed?

The algorithm was changed so that Instagram focuses more on recent content rather than on the content that has gotten the most engagement.

4. What Things Do You Think Instagram Cares About?

Instagram cares about the full screen and high-quality visuals, popular accounts, and content relevant to your audience.

5.What Does a Regular Instagram User Want From the App?

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.
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Picture of 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. When not glued to the keyboard, you will find me munching popcorns in cinema or catching K-dramas on Netflix with a ramen bowl. Let's chat about content, cinema, or anything in between at [email protected].
Instagram Algorithm

Instagram Algorithm 2023: Make Your Content Seen & Rule the Platform

Picture of 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. When not glued to the keyboard, you will find me munching popcorns in cinema or catching K-dramas on Netflix with a ramen bowl. Let's chat about content, cinema, or anything in between at [email protected].

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