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How Does the Instagram® Algorithm Work?

Uncategorized May 01, 2021

If you're looking to grow your business by engaging with potential customers on the Gram, it's vital that you know how the Instagram® algorithm works.

While it's not overly complicated, understanding how it's designed will help you plan your content to ensure it can get in front of as many of your followers as possible.

This post will break the Insta algorithm down into five simple steps. 

Step 1: Your Post Is Shown to a Small Selection of People.

It stands to reason that when you post some content on Instagram®, the way that the platform works out how well your post will perform is by sharing it with a relatively small group of people that have interacted with your posts in the past.

People's feeds are populated with content that they've recently interacted with and engaged with historically, so the algorithm will direct your content in front of these people to see how they react.


Step 2: It Measures How Fast People Interact With Your Post.

Once your post is out there, one of the metrics that the algorithm will monitor is how quickly people interact with it.

In this respect, it's important that your post doesn't go too long without being engaged with, or it will simply disappear to the bottom of your followers' feeds.

To prevent this from happening, you should ensure your posts are compelling, and try and include a call to action if possible.

Step 3: It Compares It to Your Previous Posts. 

The barometer of how successful your Instagram® post isn't compared to posts by others; it's actually compared to your previous posts.

Your profile's performance is essentially ranked by the algorithm, as Instagram® is concerned with showing people content that they're interested in and are likely to engage with, as this will keep them on the platform for longer.

This is why it's important to post quality posts consistently, as low-quality posts that aren't engaged with will negatively affect the way your post is picked up on the algorithm. 

Step 4: If It's High, It Shows It to More People.

If your post is engaged with by lots of people (both likes and comments) the algorithm will view this positively.

After all, Instagram® is interested in sharing posts that are engaging, as this feeds into the platform's overall objective, which is to keep people online for as long as possible.

This is further evidence of the need to create compelling posts consistently. 

Step 5: If It's Low, It Shows It to Fewer People.

In contrast to step four, if your post doesn't perform well from the start, the algorithm won't pick it up and share it widely.

A good way of thinking about the algorithm is that it acts like your followers in many respects. If your followers aren't interested in the content you're producing, they're simply going to scroll past it and won't bother engaging with whatever you share.

This is why it's important not to just saturate your feed with lots of posts that you haven't thought a great deal about, as the algorithm is much more concerned with the quality of your content and the resulting engagement. 



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