The Instagram Algorithm 2022: How to Get Your Post Seen

The Instagram algorithm decides which content gets seen. Therefore, in order to marketing on Instagram successfully, we all need to learn what Instagram algorithm is and how it controls your content’s organic reach.

Luckily, Instagram admits they need to do a better job of explaining the Instagram algorithm, and in recent months have been more transparent via blog posts.

According to Instagram,

Each part of the app – Feed, Explore, Reels – uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, but they want to discover something entirely new in Explore. We rank things differently in different parts of the app, based on how people use them.

In this post, we’re expanding how the Instagram algorithm works for feed post, stories, the Explore page, and Instagram Reels. What’s more, discover our tops tips to get advantage from Instagram algorithm.

How Instagram Rank Feed and Stories

Instagram feed and stories are places where users mostly want to see content from people they already follow. But, how some of the people who you follow rank higher than the others?

Instagram gathers something called signals and the most important signals across Feed and Stories, roughly in order of importance, are:

  • Information about the post. These are signals both about how popular a post is – think how many people have liked it – and more mundane information about the content itself, like when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video, and what location, if any, was attached to it.
  • Information about the person who posted. How interesting this person might be to another user, how many people have interacted with them in the past few weeks
  • The user’s activity. What they might be interested in, what posts they’ve liked previously. 
  • The user’s history of interaction. Whose posts are they going to be interested in seeing?

The Instagram algorithm also assumes that the most recent posts are most important to people. While Instagram insists that all posts do, at some point, show up in a user’s feed, newer posts are often ranked higher in the newsfeed than older ones.

How Instagram Rank Feed and Stories

How Instagram Rank Explore

Explore is the part of the app meant for discovering new content. The majority of the content in the explore page is by accounts users don’t follow. Therefore, for the explore page, Instagram applies another set of rules for going viral.

The most important signals in the case of the explore feature tend to be:

  • Information about the post. It’s all about how popular a post seems to be. This tends to be seen in how quickly people are liking, commenting and sharing. It’s even more important in this case, than with the Feed.
  • The user’s history of interacting with the person who has posted. This provides an idea of how interested the user will be in their content.
  • Activity. Again, a user’s likes, comments, and saves.
  • Information on the person who has posted. Who has interacted with them, how many times they’ve been interacted with, etc. 
How Instagram Rank Explore

How Instagram Rank Reels

The goal of Intagram’s Reels algorithm is to surface content users will not only enjoy watching, they’ll likely engage with it as well. The most important signals, roughly in order of importance, are:

  • User activity: What Reels has the person liked, commented on, and engaged with recently? This tells Instagram what is and what isn’t relevant to you.
  • Your history of interacting with the person who posted: including recent engagement with Reels and interactions with content creators.
  • Information about the reel: such as its popularity, its audio track, and understanding of the video based on pixels and whole frames.
  • Information about the person who posted: including who they are and how other users have interacted with them.
How Instagram Rank Reels

What Does Instagram Not Rank?

Instagram avoids recommending these posts:

  • Too many posts from one person in a row
  • Stories that are reshared from the feed
  • Low-quality reels or reels that focus on political issues
  • Reels with watermark

7 Extra Ways to Improve Your Ranking with the Instagram Algorithm in 2021

#1. Use Instagram Analytics to See What’s Working

Tracking and monitoring how your content is performing on Instagram is one of the most reliable ways to take on the Instagram algorithm.

Instagram insights can help you understand which of your posts performs best and what type of content your followers enjoy seeing from you. Monitoring key metrics like when your audience is most active, their gender, and geographical location can give you an idea of what content to post and when to post.

#2. Publish High-Quality Content

It doesn’t matter if you figure out all of Instagram’s algorithm secrets—if you don’t master publishing high-quality content, you’ll never see the follower growth or engagement you want.

#3. Engage with Your Audience

Instagram wants to promote content that keeps users engaged because that’s what’ll keep people on the platform longer.

Respond to every like, comment, and DM. Visit your audience’s profiles to like and comment on their content, too. These types of interactions will get the Instagram algorithm working in your favor, and it’ll also help you create genuine relationships with your followers.

#4. Post Carousels

While the Instagram algorithm doesn’t explicitly prioritize carousels, posts that earn more engagement are rewarded with more reach.

Carousel posts make up 17% of feed posts, and according to Hootsuite’s own research they pull 3x the engagement and 1.4x the reach of other post types.

#5: Encourage More Interactions with Instagram Stories Stickers 

Who doesn’t like stickers? 

They are a fun, engaging, and awesome way to get feedback from your target audience. 

Instagram stickers like the emoji slider, polls, and quizzes are great for increasing engagement as users need to engage in some way with your story. 

#6: Leverage Hashtags

Hashtags have been around for years for good reason. Adding hashtags to your post can increase your chances of reaching a wider audience, as people are constantly searching and following relevant hashtags. In fact, studies show that posts with hashtags receive higher engagement than those without.

#7. Write Interesting Captions

When users like, comment, and share your Instagram content, it counts as engagement and is essential to the algorithm. Interestingly, Instagram doesn’t mind if you directly ask followers to engage. Ask your Instagram followers a question in your caption, prompting them to answer in the comments, or encourage them to tag a friend.

Outsmarting The Instagram Algorithm: The Takeaways

In summary, there are four ranking signals that the Instagram algorithm uses to rank content that is visible in your account. The four ranking signals are: 

  • Information about the post
  • Information about you (the user who creates the post)
  • Your audience’s activity
  • Your audience’s history of interacting with you

These ranking signals, in turn, define: 

  • The ranking order of posts in your newsfeed
  • The posts featured in the Explore tab
  • The ranking order of content in Stories, Reels, and Instagram TV videos

To increase the visibility of your Instagram, you should:

  • Get to know your audience, 
  • Produce a steady stream of quality content, 
  • and deploy (at least some of) the tips we’ve covered above.

Plus, Instagram avoids recommending these posts:

  • Too many posts from one person in a row
  • Stories that are reshared from the feed
  • Low-quality reels or reels that focus on political issues
  • Reels with watermark

You should avoid to publish these content, too.

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