A Guide to the Instagram Algorithm

A Guide to the Instagram Algorithm

For many marketers, Instagram's algorithm is a mystery. With frequent changes and updates, it is difficult to keep track of how to reach success through Instagram. This is why we have put together a short guide to how the algorithm works.

What is the algorithm?

Instagram has developed over the years, to have multiple elements, from reels to feed posts and each part of the app has it's own algorithm. The algorithm helps Instagram to choose what posts will be most relevant to you.

Feed & Stories

With feed posts, people want to see the people and accounts they care about the most. In the Feed and Stories sections, you will be shown posts from accounts you follow in an order tailored to what Instagram believes you will be most interested in.


Unlike the feed and stories section of Instagram, Explore will show you posts from accounts that you don't already follow. This section is here for people to discover new accounts and the main aim is to show you posts that you are most likely to interact with and spend the most time on.


Reels is one of the newer elements of Instagram. Reels is similar to the Explore section, in that the majority of posts shown to you will not be from accounts you already follow. The main aim of Reels is to entertain the user and keep them on the app, interacting and watching content.

How The Algorithm Helps IG Choose What To Show You

When considering which posts to show in each of these sections, Instagram looks at a range of information to help you see the most relevant content including:

The Post & Account Who Posted

Instagram will consider how the post itself is performing. Taking factors such as: likes, when it was posted, video duration (if applicable) and location (if added), to help to decide if it will be relevant to you (these factors are more important in the Reels and Explore section of Instagram, in comparison to the Feed and Stories sections. With reels other factors will also be taken into consideration, including the audio chosen and the video content as Instagram's aim with Reels is to get the user to watch the video all the way through to the end. This is why you may notice when a user uses a trending audio, their post often performs better than a post with a more niche audio choice.

Instagram will also consider the account who posted the image or video. This will help them to decide how interesting the person may be to you, considering factors such as how often you have interacted with them recently and vice versa. Instagram will also consider the overall popularity of the account and how well their posts perform. This may be why you often see popular and highly performing reels or posts.

Your Activity

Instagram will also look into your activity, including who you interact with and what type of posts you've liked. This helps Instagram to understand how interested you are in a particular accounts posts and the types of posts that you may be interested in seeing.

Your History With Interacting With an Account

Instagram will consider accounts you have interacted with in the past to help understand the types of posts you will be more likely to find interesting. It will look into your history with certain accounts and if you often interact with their posts, the content of these accounts will be more likely to be shown to you.

What You Can Do To Help Your Account Performance

Instagram is focusing more and more on the importance of interaction between accounts. So the more you interact and spend time commenting on and liking other posts, the more likely Instagram is to see your post as relevant to other accounts and the more likely this will be to appear on their Explore, Reels or Feed and Stories (if following).

We also recommend keeping up to date with what is trending. By using popular audio or sharing content on a theme which is highly popular at the current moment, your post will likely have more chance or reaching a wider audience.