Instagram's algorithms are constantly evolving. Learn about the different ones powering your Feed, Reels, Stories, and more!
Instagram has over 2 billion monthly users, and those numbers are still growing. A staggering 80% of casual users use the platform to research products and services. These numbers should be sufficient to make any social media marketing team realize that if used strategically, the platform can be a goldmine of data to place their company on the map. To tap into Instagram's limitless potential, understanding how its algorithm works and changes can help you create efficient social media strategies in 2024.
How Does Instagram’s Algorithm Work?
Instagram's algorithm is not a single entity. It is, in fact, an amalgamation of several algorithms, processes, and classifiers, each with a distinct purpose. The strategy is simple – entice users to remain on the platform by optimizing their time via personalized content that interests them.
As a social media manager, you can tap into this by prioritizing what interests your target market. Here is a breakdown of each algorithm:
The Feed Algorithm
The platform's algorithm affecting your Feed (such as your comments, likes, saves, etc.) depends on your profile and posting details. Using that info, it prioritizes content that you like and spend time browsing on Instagram by referencing your activities, posting data and details. The algorithm is never stagnant. It is constantly updated to ensure content relevancy.
The Story Algorithm
When you access the Instagram app, you immediately get a lineup of the latest Stories at the top of the page from profiles you follow. The Stories algorithm constantly works in the background to curate this lineup to strengthen and maintain engagement.
It does this by referencing all of the Stories from followers the day before and so it can understand content that excites you. Rather than making specific Stories prominent, it predicts which ones you are likely to respond to using various signals (such as your interaction level and viewing frequency). This way, you don’t feel as if you are being forced to engage.
The Explore Page Algorithm
Using the same strategy as the Stories and Feed algorithms, the Explore page works on algorithms designed to increase and maintain engagement by offering relevant content. However, unlike the first two, this algorithm actively customizes and ranks engaging content per each user's interests.
For example, say you are interested in finding the best coffee in your area. In this case, the algorithm may prioritize posts on local coffee shops or types of gourmet coffees to keep you engaged.
By adding relevant hashtags and remaining abreast of the latest coffee trends, social media managers and content creators can increase the chances of their posts being featured and reacted to.
The Reels Algorithm
The Reels algorithm is designed to influence user experience by displaying content they can engage with. This includes curating appealing and new videos. By doing this, the Reels algorithm entices users to explore their interests with content from a broad range of creators. The audio tracks in Reels play a significant role in maintaining engagement and attracting interactions with posts.
The algorithm also notes your engagement history for future post reference and compares it with similar users to refine recommendations. The aim is to ensure a custom and informed browsing experience.
How to Master Instagram Algorithms
Instagram's algorithms constantly change, but you can still use them to organically reach and entice new audiences. Here are some of the best ways to increase your reach on the platform:
Share Reels Consistently - Create and post bespoke Reels that your target audience can’t help but watch.
Use Engaging Captions – Use tempting captions to trigger audience response and increase algorithm visibility.
Use Relevant Keywords and Hashtags – Increase the chances of your Instagram posts being discovered with relevant keywords and hashtags. Use different ones to optimize posts and increase engagement.
Harness the potential of Instagram algorithms to power your social media campaigns.
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