Instagram’s Algorithm Update

A header image with the Instagram logo.

Have you ever been mindlessly scrolling on Instagram and wondered why certain posts always seem to to be at the top of your feed? You can thank the Instagram algorithm for that! In past years, Instagram’s algorithm used to prioritize posts based on chronological order. Any posts on your feed consisted of the most recent content from those you followed. However, there have been drastic changes to the algorithm in recent years. The app now has more specific parameters it observes: user relationships, user behavior, interests, and relevancy.

If a particular user has spent time bookmarking or sharing posts, or scrolling through your stories, the algorithm interprets this activity as a strong relationship between the two of you. The old system used to look at the frequency of likes and comments on a single post. With Instagram’s current algorithm, it is far more important to have users not only like and comment, but also to have them bookmark, share, and click on your stories. Your content will more likely wind up on someone’s “explore” page with repeated engagement and action.

Instagram also weighs a user’s interests to gauge a relevancy score for posts. While determining the effectiveness of this is tricky, it is clear that Instagram will rank your feed based on how relevant it is to a particular user. Choosing accurate, effective hashtags is one way to attract users with similar interests. If a user likes to spend a lot of time searching for Instagram pages dedicated to food & drink, they may come across your content, ads, or reels if it is related to their interests. A good hashtag allows you to show up when a user types in a search query for that content. You want as many eyes on your content as possible, so finding ways to get a better relevancy score is key.

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