Instagram’s algorithm has long been a source of mystery and speculation for many users. However, the platform is now striving to provide more transparency and shed light on how it actually works. In a blog post, CEO Adam Mosseri acknowledged the misconceptions surrounding Instagram and expressed the company’s commitment to offering users a better understanding of its inner workings.
Contrary to popular belief, Mosseri clarified that there isn’t a single algorithm governing Instagram. Instead, the platform employs a diverse range of algorithms, classifications, and processes to determine what content matters most to individual users. The ultimate goal is to deliver meaningful and valuable experiences to everyone on the platform.
To achieve these personalized experiences, Instagram relies on technology-supported personalization. Each section of the platform, including the feed, stories, and reels, operates with its own unique algorithm. The algorithms are tailored based on how users interact with and utilize each specific area.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Instagram algorithm composes your feed. When you open the Instagram app, your homepage is divided into three main categories:
Content from accounts you follow: This section prioritizes posts from the accounts you follow. The algorithm takes into account various factors, such as your previous interactions with those accounts, including likes and comments.
Recommended content: Instagram also displays content from accounts you might be interested in, even if you don’t follow them. The algorithm determines these recommendations based on your past interactions, similar accounts you engage with, and other relevant factors.
Advertisements: Like most social media platforms, Instagram incorporates advertisements into the feed. The algorithm considers your interests, demographics, and other relevant data to present you with relevant ads.
Crucially, the Instagram algorithm factors in the types of interactions you are likely to perform on a post. Mosseri mentioned the use of “fact-based guesses” to assess the probability of your engagement. The algorithm primarily focuses on five out of twelve potential types of interaction: viewing a post for several seconds, commenting, liking, sharing, and tapping the profile picture. Posts with a higher likelihood of interaction, weighted by the type of action, will receive greater visibility in your feed.
To maintain a balanced feed, Instagram strives to avoid showing too many consecutive posts from the same account and limits the number of suggested posts presented at once.
In summary, the Instagram algorithm is designed to curate a personalized feed for each user, taking into account their preferences, interactions, and the diverse range of content available on the platform. By employing a variety of algorithms, classifications, and processes, Instagram aims to provide users with meaningful and valuable experiences throughout their Instagram journey.