How the Instagram Algorithm Works - And How You Can Use it to Your Advantage

How the Instagram Algorithm Works - And How You Can Use it to Your Advantage

Instagram remains one of the most popular social media platforms around even till this day. The fact that it's so easy to use, along with its beautiful visual elements and interesting videos, makes it a great attraction for hundreds of millions of people all over the world.
All of these, of course, are also what makes it great for your business. But before you can start to leverage the platform for your business growth, there's an important question you must ask.
Why is it that the Instagram platform functions so well? Why has it been able to remain so appealing all through the years? The answer? Its algorithm.
And to really take charge, you must know how to use this to your advantage.

The Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules guiding pretty much every aspect of the platform's functionalities. It is the algorithm's job to do seemingly simple tasks like display your posts to your followers, organize your feed, explore page, determine the quality of your account, and so on.
Now while the algorithm's task seems simple on the surface, behind the scenes it is anything but. Everything happening in real time is a function of some advanced calculations going on at the backend.
So why do you need to know how the Instagram algorithm works? Because this way, you can use it to your advantage. You can plan your content better, increase your following and teach, and grow ten times faster.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works

To understand how the Instagram algorithm works, we must focus on the individual aspects of its operation. Generally, this can be broken down into two categories: the feed algorithm, and the story algorithm.

Instagram Feed Algorithm

The Instagram feed is the most visible part of your Instagram experience. It is the first page you're taken to when you open the app, and it is the page a lot of people spend the most time on. 
In the past, it used to be that posts appeared on your feed in chronological order. Nowadays, however, it is purely based on what the algorithm decides.
And while this may seem random, it is not. There are three factors that determine the look of your feed. Here are all three below:

  1. Post Popularity - The popularity of a post determines how much it shows up on people's feed. Generally, post popularity on Instagram is determined by the number of likes.
  2. Historical Familiarity/Engagement - Another factor that determines the posts that show up on your feed is how much you've engaged with that particular user, or that particular type of post in the past.
  3. Current Engagement - Apart from the popularity determined by likes, other forms of engagement also determine how much a post appears on people's feeds. This includes shares, views, saves, and other key metrics.

The Instagram algorithm collects all of this data, and populates everyone's feeds accordingly.

Instagram Story Algorithm

The algorithm's approach to Instagram Stories is not that much different from feed posts. Here there are also three main criteria that determines how wide a story spreads:

  1. Watch Time - Watch time is simply how long people watch your story before they skip. Stories that get watched to the end are more likely to be ranked higher than those that don't.
  2. Profile Clicks - If a story is interesting enough to warrant a profile click from the viewer, the algorithm takes that as a positive sign and pushes the story to even more people.
  3. Direct Messages - Lastly, stories that prompt a direct message from the viewer to the creator are also given priority.

Tips to Take Advantage of the Instagram Algorithm

So basically, above you have the main factors governing the Instagram algorithm. How you use this to your advantage is all up to you. Our closing advice would be to first of all cultivate a habit of consistency in your posts, and then begin to work on creating only the best possible content.
You can also try to get things started on your own end by purchasing genuine likes, views, and followers from us at Cheap Social. Thanks to the quality of these services, you can easily give the algorithm all it needs to push your tweets farther and help you grow a lot more easily.