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. Anonymous said on June 1, 2023 at 11:13 pm

    Maybe Facebook should just make the relevant code free software so that independent reviewers can judge by themselves, like Twitter did.

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