Official: Current Instagram algorithm explained

Emre Çitak
Jun 1, 2023

As of 2023, understanding the inner workings of algorithms has become crucial for your presence on social media platforms. Instagram, one of the most popular social networking platforms, has recently taken steps to clarify its ranking system.

By offering insights into its algorithm and introducing new features, Instagram aims to dispel misconceptions and assist creators in enhancing their user experiences.

Let's take a look at how the current Instagram algorithm works in the framework of the blog post shared by Instagram.

How does the current Instagram algorithm work?

Instagram's ranking algorithm is a complex system that strives to provide personalized experiences to its users. By leveraging a range of algorithms, classifiers, and signals, the platform curates content for the Feed, Stories, Explore, and Reels.

Understanding these mechanisms can empower users and creators to optimize their content strategies and make the most of their time on the platform.

Current Instagram algorithm
Current Instagram algorithm takes multiple variables into account - Screenshot: Instagram

Story ranking

Stories provide glimpses into everyday moments and allow users to connect with their loved ones and interests. The ranking of Stories follows a similar process as the Feed.

It begins with defining potential stories shared by followed accounts and filtering out any content that violates Community Guidelines.

Signals such as viewing history and engagement history (likes, direct messages) are crucial in determining the ranking of Stories. Instagram predicts the relevance and value of Stories based on user actions like likes, replies, and progression to the next story.

The same Recommendation Guidelines applied to the Feed also help filter out sensitive or offensive content, which we see as the most important element of the current Instagram algorithm. Play the game by the rules or go home!

Explore tab

The Explore tab on Instagram is designed to help users discover new content tailored to their interests. By analyzing user activity such as likes, saves, shares, and comments, Instagram curates a grid of recommended photos and videos from accounts users don't follow.

The ranking of these posts relies on predicting user interest and the likelihood of actions such as likes, saves, and shares.

Signals related to post popularity, user activity in Explore, interaction history with the poster, and information about the person who posted contribute to the ranking process.

Feed ranking

The Feed serves as a personalized home base within Instagram, allowing users to catch up with friends, family, and interests. Contrary to popular belief, Instagram does not rely on a singular algorithm to dictate what appears in the Feed. Instead, the platform employs a multi-step ranking algorithm.

Initially, Instagram defines a set of posts to be ranked, considering recent posts from followed accounts and recommended content from accounts users might find interesting.

Personalization is achieved by analyzing user interactions such as follows, likes, and engagements. The algorithm aims to strike a balance between content from followed accounts and potentially engaging content from accounts users don't follow.

To rank posts in the Feed, Instagram utilizes a wide range of signals, including:

  • User activity (likes, shares, saves, and comments),
  • Post information (popularity, content details, and timing),
  • Information about the person who posted (their interaction history and relevance to the user).

These signals generate predictions regarding users' likelihood of engaging with posts. Factors such as time spent on a post, comments, likes, shares, and profile visits heavily influence post rankings in the Feed according to the current Instagram algorithm.

Current Instagram algorithm
The current Instagram algorithm suggests that ranking better on Feed depends on your total activity - Screenshot: Instagram

Diversification of content is another aspect incorporated into the Feed algorithm. Instagram ensures that users do not see multiple posts consecutively from the same account.

However, the platform remains committed to community safety and employs Community Guidelines to remove posts that violate the rules. Repeated violations can lead to account restrictions or suspensions.

Algorithm behind Reels

Reels, Instagram's short-form video platform, serves as a hub for entertainment and discovering new content.

According to the current Instagram algorithm, the ranking of Reels takes into account various signals such as:

  • User activity
  • History of interacting with the account
  • Information about the reel (popularity, audio, video details)
  • Information about the person who posted

Instagram analyzes factors like watch time, engagement (likes, comments, shares), and the audio used to predict the relevance of Reels to users.

Should you be concerned about shadowbanning?

Acknowledging concerns regarding the concept of "shadowbanning," Instagram assures users that it does not limit or hide accounts or content without clear explanation or justification.

Users have the ability to personalize their Instagram experience through actions like curating their Feed and Stories, muting accounts, utilizing Close Friends, adjusting content controls, and providing feedback through surveys and reporting.

How to rank better on the current Instagram algorithm?

Instagram has provided valuable insights into its current ranking algorithm, allowing users and creators to understand how to improve their visibility and engagement on the platform.

By following the guidelines and recommendations set forth by Instagram, individuals can optimize their content strategy to rank better and reach a wider audience.

There are some important elements that you should never ignore in order to rank better in the current Instagram algorithm.

Build a strong presence

To rank better on Instagram, it is essential to build a strong presence. Focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Instagram emphasizes the importance of engaging content that resonates with users, encourages interactions, and prompts them to spend more time on your posts. This can be achieved by creating visually appealing images or videos, crafting compelling captions, and utilizing relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.

Foster meaningful interactions

Instagram values meaningful interactions between users. Encourage your followers to engage with your content by asking questions, starting conversations, and responding to comments.

Actively participate in the Instagram community by liking, commenting, and sharing content from other users within your niche. Meaningful interactions not only boost your engagement but also signal to the algorithm that your content is valuable and relevant to your followers.

Post consistently and at optimal times

Consistency is key to improving your Instagram ranking. Develop a posting schedule and stick to it. Regularly sharing new content signals to the algorithm that you are an active and reliable account.

Additionally, consider posting at optimal times when your target audience is most active on the platform. Analyze your Instagram Insights to determine when your followers are most likely to be online and schedule your posts accordingly.

Utilize relevant hashtags

Hashtags play a crucial role in Instagram's ranking algorithm. Use relevant hashtags that align with the content of your posts. Research popular and trending hashtags within your niche and incorporate them into your captions or comments.

However, avoid using irrelevant or spammy hashtags, as this can negatively impact your ranking. Strike a balance between popular hashtags with a high volume of posts and more specific hashtags that cater to your target audience.

Current Instagram algorithm
Hashtags still have a huge role in the current Instagram algorithm

Engage with stories and explore tab

Instagram's algorithm considers user engagement with Stories and Explore when determining ranking. Leverage these features to your advantage by creating engaging and interactive Stories that prompt users to interact with polls, quizzes, or swipe-up links.

Engage with Stories from other accounts by responding to polls, sending direct messages, or sharing them. Similarly, explore the Explore tab, interact with posts, and engage with content from accounts within your niche.

Encourage saves, shares, and profile visits

Instagram values actions such as saves, shares, and profile visits as indicators of content quality and relevance. Encourage your audience to save your posts for later reference, share them with their followers, and visit your profile for more content.

You can achieve this by creating valuable and informative posts, offering exclusive discounts or promotions, or providing unique insights and perspectives within your niche.

Stay compliant with Community Guidelines

Adhering to Instagram's Community Guidelines is essential for maintaining a positive presence on the platform. Violations of these guidelines can result in content being demoted or removed.

Ensure that your content is respectful, inclusive, and abides by the platform's rules. Avoid engaging in spammy or manipulative practices that can harm your reputation and ranking.


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  1. Seeprime said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Missing from the “story”: Ukraine’s agreement to never use Starlink for military purposes. This is why.

    Ghacks quality is AI driven and very poor these days since AI is really artificial stupidity.

    1. Karl said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      “Elon Musk biographer Walter Isaacson forced to ‘clarify’ book’s account of Starlink incident in Ukraine War

      “To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not. They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war.”

      1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:58 pm

        I posted above comment to:

        Not to the following article about Geforce where I currently also can see it published:

  2. Anonymous said on September 11, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Well, using Brave, I can see Llama 2 being decent, but it is still not great?
    All these AI stuff seems more like a ‘toy’ than anything special, I mean, it is good for some stuff like translations or asking quick questions but not for asking anything important.

    The problem is Brave made it mostly for summarizing websites and all that, but all these Big tech controlled stuff, won’t summarize articles it doesn’t agree with, so it is also useless in many situations where you just want it to give you a quick summarization, and then it starts throwing you little ‘speeches’ about how it doesn’t agree with it and then it never summarizes anything, but give you all the 30 paragraphs reasons why the article is wrong, like if I am asking it what it thinks.

    SO all this AI is mostly a toy, but Facebook with all the power they have will be able to get so much data from people, it can ‘train’ or better say, write algorithms that will get better with time.

    But It is not intelligence, it is really not intelligence all these AI technology.

  3. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
    Article URL: []

    The eternal problematic of regulating, here applied to AI. Should regulations (interventionism) have interfered in the course of mankind ever since Adam and Eve where would we be now? Should spirituality, morality, ethics never have interfered where would we be now? I truly have always believed that the only possible consensus between ethics and freedom is that of individuals’ own consciousness.

    Off-topic : Musk’s beard looks like a wound, AI-Human hand-shake is a quite nice pic :)

    1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Haha, oh dear, Tom.
      I thought that the comments system issue where comments shows up under a totally different article was fixed. But seeing your comment here, the “error” is clearly still active. Hopefully it is sorted as soon as possible.

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 6:40 pm

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        Hi Karl :) Well, let’s remain positive and see the good sides : one’s comment appearing within different articles (the one it was written form and for, another unrelated one) brings ubiquity to that comment : say it once and it’s published twice, double your pleasure and double your fun (“with double-mint, double-mint gum” and old ad!). Let’s forget the complications and inherited misunderstandings it leads to. Not sure the fun is worth the complications though. Which is why, with a few others here, I include Article Title & URL with comment, to ease a bit the pain.

        This said, I’m trying to find a logic key which would explain the mic-mac. One thing is sure : comments appearing twice keep the same comment number.

        For instance my comment to which you replied just above is originally :


        It then got duplicated to :


        Same comment number, which let’s me imagine comments are defined by their number as before but now dissociated in a way from their full path : that’s where something is broken, as i see it.

        First amused me, then bothered, annoyed (I took some holidays to lower the pressure), then triggered curiosity.
        I’m putting our best detectives on the affair, stay tuned.

      2. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 8:58 am

        Hehe, yes indeed, staying positive is what we should do. Good comes for those who wait, as the old saying goes. Hopefully true for this as well.

        Interesting that the comments number stays the same, I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.

        Not useful for us, but hopefully for the developers (if there are any?), that perhaps will be able to sort this comments error out. Or our detectives, I hope they work hard on this as we speak ;).

        Cheers and have a great weekend!

      3. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 9:18 am

        Whoops, my bad. I just now realized that the error I saw in your example URL (error-code-0x0003) was part of the linked article title and generated by Geforce! Oh dear! Why did I try to make it more confusing than it already is lol!

        Original comment:


      4. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        @Karl, you write,

        “I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.”

        I haven’t noticed that up to now but indeed brings an element to those who are actually trying to resolve the issue.
        I do hope that Softonic engineers are working on fixing this issue, which may be more complicated than we can imagine. Anything to do with databases can become a nightmare, especially when the database remains accessed while being repaired, so to say.

        P.S. My comment about remaining positive was, in this context, sarcastic. Your literal interpretation could mean you are, factually, more inclined to positiveness than I am myself : maybe a lesson of life for me :)

        Have a nice, happy, sunny weekend as well :)

      5. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm

        Correct: AI is certainly overhyped, it’s also advertised by some shady individuals. It’s can also be misused to write poor quality articles or fake your homework.

        16 September 2023, this website is still experiencing issues with posts erroneously appearing in the wrong threads. There are even duplicates of the exact same post ID within the same page in some places.

      6. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm

        Clerical error “[It] can also be misused …” you just can’t get the staff nowadays.

        Obviously [#comment-4573795] was originally posted within [/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]. However, it has appeared misplaced within several threads.

        Including the following:

  4. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    “How much radiation is dangerous?
    Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, is more energetic and potentially harmful. Exposure to doses greater than 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) in a short period can increase the risk of immediate health effects.
    Above about 100 mSv, the risk of long-term health effects, such as cancer, increases with the dose.”

    This ban is about NON-ionizing radiation limits, because there is too much radio wave power from the iphone. This has nothing to do with the much more dangerous ionizing radiations like X-rays, that are obviously not emitted at all by mobile phones. I invite you to correct your article.

  5. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    “ makes history as the first official UFO website”

    I wonder if it’s just smelly crowdsourcing for the spotting of chinese balloons or whatever paranoia they’re trying to instigate, or if they are also intentionally trying to look stupid enough to look for alien spaceships, for whatever reason. Maybe trying to look cute, instead of among the worst butchers of history ?

  6. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    “The tech titan’s defense”
    “Whether he provides a clear explanation or justifies his actions”
    “the moral compass”

    You take it for granted that this company should agree being a military communications provider on a war zone, and so directly so that his network would be used to control armed drones charged with explosives rushing to their targets.

    You don’t need to repeat here everything you read in the mainstream press without thinking twice about it. You’re not just pointing interestingly that his company is more involved in the war that one may think at first and that this power is worrying, you’re also declaring your own support for a side in an imperialist killfest, blaming him for not participating enough in the bloodshed.

    Now your article is unclear on how this company could be aware that its network is used for such military actions at a given time, which has implications of its own.

    Reading other sources on that quickly, it seems that the company was: explicitly asked ; to extend its network geographically ; for a military attack ; at a time when there was no war but with the purpose of triggering it, if I understood well. You have to be joking if you’re crying about that not happening at that time. But today you have your war, be happy.

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