How did the Instagram algorithm change?
When Instagram was first launched, its algorithm was chronological-based, meaning the latest posts were on top of the home page feed, and if you were told to get more reach, you should have posted as frequently as you could.
Good old days!
After the Instagram algorithm changed, growth on Instagram was more about quality than quantity and later was according to the users’ experience.
- Want to get more Instagram followers?
- Want to appear on the Instagram explore page?
- Want to get more interactions on your Instagram post?
- Want to get more Instagram views?
You should understand the algorithm first!
Table of Contents
What Is the Instagram algorithm?
The Instagram algorithm is an indicator that dictates the order of the content. As a post gets pushed up to the top of the home page feed/the explore page or the Stories that appear at the beginning of the Story bar, they get more visibility, so your chance to increase Instagram engagement is higher. But the way they are ordered has all to do with the algorithm.
You should know there is no “one algorithm” on Instagram. There are many with multiple variables and classifiers to determine who cares for what and how. And the Instagram algorithm change occurs according to the experience and behavior of the user.
Each feed (post, Story, reels, and the explore page) has its own algorithm that we will discuss in a few minutes)
Instagram algorithm change in 2021
As we said, Instagram keeps updating its algorithm to make the most of your time on the platform, and the last update occurred in June 2021. So if you do not want to lag, you should keep up with Instagram algorithm change. This year, Instagram updates focus on what feeds get more visibility and in what order. But how does Instagram rank different feeds? This is what we are going to talk about in a few moments.
How Does The Instagram Algorithm Rank Feed And Stories?
The IG algorithm functions the same for Instagram posts and Stories. This is why we decided to explain both under the same heading! It is well-noticed to Instagram that people want to see the posts and Stories of their friends, families, and crushes (generally speaking, the people you are closest to) prior to others’ feeds such as influencers, brands, celebs, etc.
But which Story and post do you see first among feeds of these close people. It is roughly chronological. It means Instagram prefers to show you the latest posts and Stories on this matter. Of course, there are some exceptions, like ads, but the vast majority follow what was just explained.
Now rest of the feeds are ordered according to “signals,” which are listed here based on their importance:
1. Information About The Instagram Post
There are certain factors about the post that can push up or push down the post. The most important one is the popularity of the post. Does it get a lot of interaction? The post is likely to come up to the beginning of the home page feed if it does. And this has all to do with your effort.
But certain factors are purely about the post, such as the subject of the content, duration of it if it is video, the time it was posted, etc.
You may like to read; How long can videos be on Instagram?
2. Information About The Account That Posted
If the account, or should we say the person who has posted, is interesting to users, that person’s feed gets more visibility. This is because Instagram understands it based on the users’ interaction in the past few weeks.
3. The Activity Of The User Who Comes Up With The Post
Instagram tracks your behavior on the platform. Depending upon what posts you liked or saved and what account you followed (all in the span of three weeks), users come up with different orders in seeing posts.
4. Your Previous Interactions
Do you have a favorite influencer? Instagram notices how interested you are in an account based upon the interactions you contribute to that user.
After collecting all these signals, the real job begins. According to every signal, Instagram begins to test you with the feeds, and see how you interact with your feed. Instagram rates it for the coming feeds. But what do they mean by interactions?
When it comes to interactions, we name 3 factors; like, comment, view, and save. You’d be surprised to know that Instagram considers “tapping on the profile photo” and the seconds you spend on the posts to perhaps swipe left the carousel or read the whole caption as indicators.
How Does The Instagram Algorithm Rank Explore?
The Instagram explore page is the place to find new things, accounts, interests, etc. You, as a user, see the latest feed of what you are interested in. How does Instagram know what you care for? The signals we just talked about in the previous heading. But freshness on the explore page plays a more important role.
How Does The Instagram Algorithm Rank Reels?
Instagram reels, similar to the explore page, is the place where you see the content of users you do not normally follow and all in the video format. Reels is designed mostly to entertain you.
How To Beat The Instagram Algorithm?
Want to know how to take advantage of the Instagram algorithm change in your favor? Read on!
Be Clear About Your Niche
One of the most important factors that Instagram works based on is “interest.” Your followers come up with the content they like to see. So, whatever your niche is, make Instagram and users understand it. For this reason, we recommend you optimize your hashtag strategy.
Adding hashtags can be confusing sometimes, especially if you don’t know what is used more. However, there are many free Instagram hashtag generator tools out there that help you optimize your hashtag strategy. So seize the opportunity.
Work On Quality As Well As Quantity
On the home page, Instagram prioritizes the posts with more interaction. Therefore this is the key! Driving interaction! And to do so, you should optimize the quality of your content daily. But what about the quantity?
Businesses post every day on Instagram. We actually do recommend posting daily, but if you think that is too much or do not have resources for that, then at least come up with a routine and stick to it. We, like Adam Mosseri, think 2 posts a week and 2 Stories per day are ideal.
Post When Users Are Most Active
Although the Instagram algorithm is no longer chronological-based, it still tends to give more visibility to the latest posts.
Instagram insight can help you to a certain extent. For instance, the insight of this particular account shows that on Wednesday, posts get a higher reach.
But what is the best time to post on Instagram in 2021? It depends on your niche! At first, you should educate yourself on the times users are most active on Instagram. Then try it on your account to see when your followers are on the platform. Finally, with try and error methods, come up with a routine and optimize whenever necessary.
We don’t claim Instagram carousels get higher engagement per day, but based on our studies, carousels tend to get 3 and 1.4 times more engagement and reach, respectively! If you are selling a product on Instagram, you can take advantage of carousels to educate your followers more about the product.
You may also like to read; How to upload multiple photos on Instagram?
Add The Post To The Story
According to Instagram, users do not see %70 of the feed, and sorry to break this to you that there is a great chance that your post is one of them. But adding the post to your Story increases its chance of visibility. Moreover, the posts appear on the explore page or top of the home page that drive interactions. So to increase the engagement, you should increase the exposure and add the post to the Story to do that.
Include The Location
Instagram posts with a tagged location get %79 more engagement than posts that don’t, and it is vital to do so if you have a local business. Plus, location is one of the signals Instagram orders the home feed page based upon.
Create Reels With The Trending Songs
Instagram reels is a great opportunity to attract more followers. Reels is more about trends, and if you can create relatable reels, your chance to appear on the explore page is increased.
Your followers are keener on interacting with your account if you engage back with them. And soon, you become their favorite influencer and prioritize your feed for them. The more you engage back, the higher rate you get.
What Messes With Instagram Algorithms?
There are moments that your feed would go down no matter how much of an effort you put through Instagram till you lose your chance to take advantage of the Instagram algorithm in your favor. One is when you push Instagram guidelines. Of course, if you violate the guideline, you end up losing your Instagram account, but if you push the limits, like sharing misinformation, you decrease your visibility.
The other factor that brings down the reach of your feed is posting a feed with a mark of another social media. Yes, you guessed right. We are talking about TikTok.
After the noticeable success of TikTok in absorbing users only 18 months after its launch, Instagram came up with the reels feature just to compete with TikTok. But some users began to reshare their TikTok videos on Instagram reels. An outspoken admitted that reshared feeds are less likely to appear on the reels section of the explore page.
Moreover, repost content, whether posts or Stories, is less likely to get more exposure since people prefer to see the original content.
And at last, Instagram refuses to share upsetting content on the explore page. We are not saying that sad content does not appear on the explore page, but they are less likely to. Also, content showing vaping and using tobacco has no place on the explore page.
Note that Instagram has been around for quite some time and can easily detect users trying to game the system. Buying fake followers or engagement pods may temporarily work for you, but eventually, Instagram will outsmart you, and your account ends up in shadowban. So avoid these methods for growth.
How AiSchedul Helps You Beat Instagram Algorithms?
AiSchedul is a free Instagram scheduler that enables you to schedule Instagram posts and Stories, IGTV, carousel, etc., for the times when most of your followers are online. In addition, this platform keeps getting updated after each Instagram algorithm change. The built-in hashtag generator of this tool allows you to optimize your hashtag strategy, and while scheduling, you can both schedule it for an Instagram Story and tag location. And it would be all for free. So why not use it? Download the app now!