What Instagram Algorithm is and how to beat it

How the Instagram Algorithm Works?

Lately, you must have noticed that your Instagram content isn’t ranking like it used to before. But before we get into that, don’t let the word algorithm scare you off.

What is the Instagram Algorithm?

The Instagram algorithm customizes posts and videos that you see on your feed based on your interest and past search history. It focuses on finding the right content for you to consume.

People spend around 30 minutes per day scrolling through Instagram. But since the world went under lockdown, this duration has undoubtedly increased. With the new update, the Instagram algorithm is a mystery that we will unveil in this blog.

  • How the Instagram algorithm works
  • Feed posts
  • Instagram stories
  • Explore page
  • IGTV videos and reels
  • 7 Tips to Beat the Instagram algorithm

Before we dive in, learn more about how the YouTube Algorithm works in this thorough guide.

How the Instagram algorithm works

Feed posts


A few factors influence the Instagram algorithm when it comes to feed posts – Interest, Relationship, Timeliness, Frequency, Following, and Usage. Let’s explore these factors:

Interest – The algorithm studies what the user likes and seems interested in and shows them similar posts on their feed.

Relationship – Based on your interactions, the algorithm gives your friends and family more priority and prioritizes their posts on your feed.

Timeliness – The algorithm will always serve you with the latest posts, pushing them to the top of your feed with a tiny icon displaying “new posts.”

Frequency – Every time you open the Instagram app, the algorithm takes a note, and based on that; it will show you the latest posts in chronological order.

Following – Lastly, the algorithm will check the number of followers. The higher the number, the more options it has to choose the best out of those to display on its feed.

Instagram stories

The algorithm only cares about your interests and relationships with your followers. If you engage with an account frequently, it will show you their stories before the others.

Explore page

Your feed is similar to the explore page. Both pages will serve you with content based on the posts or videos you previously spent more time watching. While your feed showcases content from accounts you follow, the explore page showcases content from new accounts or those that are trending.

IGTV videos and reels

Similar to stories, focusing on your engagement with other accounts and the posts you like or comment on frequently, the algorithm will show you reels and videos accordingly.

7 Tips to Beat the Instagram algorithm

Improve your photo quality

Instagram primarily focuses on visuals. You have a higher chance of ranking on the top with top quality images appearing on your follower’s feed. This will help you boost your likes and reach on the platform.

Posts Insta stories regularly

Compared to everything else, Instagram has to offer, stories have won the popularity contest. Every time you post a story, you are bumped to the top of your followers’ view list, increasing your chance of engaging with your audiences.

Upload more video content

On Instagram, static posts are old news. Users prefer videos over photos. Uploading more videos on the platform will help you garner more followers and shares. It increases engagement on the video as well.

Go live more often

Have you noticed that when an account goes live, you receive a notification? This pushes that account to the top of your stories’ feed. Going live more often gives you an edge over the other stories, and this feature doesn’t need polished content; you can share the launch of something new or talk to your audience.

Use catchy captions for your pictures and videos

Though on Insta, people focus on visuals; they enjoy reading captions, which gives them a better idea about the content. When organizing a giveaway or contest, you can ask your audience to tag or comment through captions, further increasing engagement on your post.

Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a weapon of mass engagement on Instagram. Unique, quirky hashtags always grab the user’s attention. Aside from this, people also use hashtags to search for content on the explore page.

Post your content during peak hours

Finally, one of the crucial things to keep in mind is, “what’s the best time to post?” Your marketing team needs to research when your audience is the most active and prepare a timeline to post. Posting during peak hours will push you to the top of the feed and automatically increase your post engagement.

That’s all, folks! As the Instagram algorithm evolves, make sure to be ahead of the curve and engage with your audience.

Stay updated with the latest trends using the above tips, out-smart the algorithm to rank higher on the platform. But wait, how do you embed these tips in your marketing strategy?

Author avatar
Ramona Crasto