Instagram’s Algorithm for the Feed Demystified
Are you wanting to know how the Instagram Algorithm really works and how you can know what posts you share for your business really matter?
In this episode we look at the information a group of reporters where able to glean from direct access to the Instagram team all related to demystifying the Instagram Algorithm.
Let’s dive in!
The Instagram Algorithm Demystified
Just before diving into the Instagram Algorithm arena I wanted to share a business tip to all business leaders, solopreneurs, and leadership teams. Far too often you think you need to wait until something is perfect or has every bell and whistle before you launch, release it, or take the website live. DON’T DO THAT! You need to get it live. If it’s reached your own “85%” done rank, that’s a huge improvement over what you had before and far better than what most people expect. So go for it. Launch it. Don’t wait and miss the window and cause undue hardship. Get it live.
Instagram’s Feed Ranking Keys
Instagram has implemented an advanced “machine learning” process that is computerized and based on a Instagram users past behavior analysis to create a unique feed for each user. Together this makes up the Instagram Algorithm. This enables Instagram to deliver a completely custom, personalized feed based on how a user interacts on Instagram. The key for businesses is to know how this works so that posts can be created based on the algorithm to provide the best hoped for results for the business posts.
Instagram outlines that there are 3 main factors that determine what a users sees in their Instagram feed:
- Interest: How much Instagram’s machine learning predicts a user will care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters each user, determined by past behavior on similar content and also machine vision analyzing of the actual content of the post.
- Timeliness/Recency: A 2nd factor is how recently the post was shared, with priority given to timely posts over older posts (a week or more).
- Relationship: How close the users is to the person/brand who shared it, with higher ranking for people a user has interacted with significantly in the past on Instagram (such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.)
The reports went further and note that beyond these 3 core factors, an additional 3 signals that influence rankings include the following:
- Frequency: How often a user opens Instagram, as it will try to show a user the best posts since their last visit.
- Following: If a user follows a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of content, so a user might see less of any specific person or brand.
- Usage: How long a user spends on Instagram. This determines if they’re just seeing the best posts during short sessions, or if Instagram will dig deeper into its data pool to find more if you spend more total time using the app.
Instagram Algorithm Myths Debunked
- Instagram does not hide posts in the feed in any way
- There will NOT be an option to see the old reverse chronological feed
- Instagram’s main feed does NOT favor users who use Stories, Live, or other special features of the app more
- Instagram does NOT down-rank users for posting too frequently
- Instagram says it DOES NOT hide people’s content for posting too many hashtags
Instagram Takeaways for Businesses
Quality photos and content that engages is key! Your content is King and it must seek the queen…engagement. You want contact that people engage with. This means seeking “likes” and comments.
Use open ended descriptions or end with a question to prompt engagement.
Experiment, track, and find out what works!
It’s not a mystery any longer! The Instagram Algorithm has been demystified and it rewards quality, engaging content that people like and want to interact with.
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Why the Halftime theme Mike?
I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.
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