Do you know how Instagram shows your posts to your followers? How to have quality posts? How does Instagram algorithm work?

Why is Instagram Algorithm important?

The Instagram algorithm first was a simple one in which posts would appear on the feed of followers based on the time of their being published. Based on stats published by Instagram, before 2016, Instagram users couldn’t see 70% of posts of their connections including 50% of their friends or relatives’ posts. Considering this as a system flaw, Instagram introduced a new algorithm which was criticized by many users and experts.
Instagram’s current stats show that this algorithm had been successful and now, its users can see almost 90% of their friends’ posts and spend more time on Instagram using this algorithm. The new algorithm was secret till June 2018, however, Instagram managers explained the new algorithm and its function in ranking the posts in followers’ feed in a conference.
new Instagram algorithm

Important Instagram feed ranking factors

Studying users’ behavior, Instagram will design a special feed for each of them using machine learning. In this machine learning, if two people follow the same persons in this social media, their feed still would be totally different. In the new algorithm, Instagram will reward pages with high follower engagement rate. So it will consider posts with good engagement rate (receiving more like and comments) as a high-quality post and interesting to more followers.
There are some key factors in showing posts to followers and ranking post in their Instagram feed:

Interest

This factor lets Instagram predict the importance of posts to followers. Considering these criteria, the posts which Instagram perceives as important to you, appear on top of your feed. This study is based on users’ previous reaction to similar content and also visual analyses of the posts.
Instagram algorithm

Timeliness

The time of publishing posts and how recent it affects the rank of posts. Instagram would show recent posts more than older ones.

Relationship

Your relationship with the person who you follow also affects post ranking. Based on this criteria, posts of people who had more relationship with you in the past will be shown on top of your feed. This relationship can be measured with the comment they leave on your posts or tagging you on their photos.
Here are some other factors which may affect your post’s rank:

Frequency

Frequency shows how often each user opens Instagram and will show the best posts to followers since their last visit.

Followings

As the number of pages each user follow increases, Instagram should choose some posts to be shown in each user’s feed so the probability of showing each post would decrease.

Usage

The time each user spend on Instagram also affects the posts Instagram would show to the user. If they spend more time each time, Instagram will show more fresh posts to them, on the other hand, if they spend less time on Instagram, it mainly shows posts of their friends.

Clarifying performance of Instagram

Instagram managers also replied journalists’ questions about this new feature in the conference, the following part shows some of them:
  • Instagram would not return back to its previous format showing posts based on their publication time as its managers do not want Instagram users to be confused. However, they are eager to hear feedback and criticisms about the new algorithm.
  • Instagram would not hide any post. If Instagram users see their Instagram feeds thoroughly, they can see posts of all their followings.
  • The new Instagram algorithm do not differentiate video or photos. It just pays attention to users’ behavior, if they see videos less, Instagram will show fewer videos to them too.
  • The story, live video, and other facilities of this applications do not affect post’s rank.
  • If users publish more posts or show other posting traits, it will not affect their rank. However, if you publish a lot of posts in a limited time span, it will be distributed in followers feeds.
  • There is no difference in post ranks for business or personal accounts.
  • Shadow banning is a myth and Instagram would not hide posts for using more hashtags.
The conference lets users understand the new algorithm’s function. However there is still a problem, the same problem Facebook faced in 2015. The new Instagram algorithm would raise competition and make it difficult to reach your audience. As the number of personal and business accounts and the content they produce increases, posts would be seen less because the average time users would spend on Instagram remains the same. Some users believe Instagram is promoting its ad service.
Instagram algorithm

 How to use Instagram algorithm better?

In order to use Instagram better, we have some suggestions here:
Assign more time to create high-quality stories. The story is one of the best ways of interaction with followers and engaging them with your page. The Instagram story is a powerful medium for marketing on Instagram. The new Instagram algorithm affecting the business’ interaction with their followers, users will spend more time on stories compared to posts.
As your followers become engaged more with your stories, your posts will appear more on their feed. Making polls or inserting links in the story are some ways to engage followers.
Publish your posts when most of your followers are active and online on that social media.
As you may know, the policy of Facebook and Instagram is the same and as Facebook consider the time followers spend on a post, Instagram will use the same policy, Instagram will consider your posts good enough to be shown on others feed too. You can increase the time each follower interact with your posts by writing interesting captions. It may be the reason that video posts are more successful in the new algorithm. You can also make image galleries to engage your followers more and they spend more time on your posts.