How does the Instagram Algorithm work?

The short answer is… it’s complicated – but we’ll give you the inside scoop 😉

The Instagram Algorithm is just like the Facebook News Feed – mysterious yet brilliant. If you are creating great content regularly, your followers and non-followers are going to see it. We have discovered that the Algorithm is great for marketing because it can dig into several sources and it will distill your findings into the following 7 key factors.

  1. Engagement: How popular is your post?

Engagement is so important on Instagram and contributes to the Algorithm. Instagram will assume your interests and share accordingly into the Discover Feed.


  1. Relevancy: What type of content are you interested in?


The order of photos and videos in the Discover Feed will be based off the likelihood that you’ll be interested in the content.


  1. Relationships: Accounts you interact with regularly.


Most times, you will always see your best friend’s latest post. Instagram will make sure that you see the content of profiles you interact with regularly, such as:

  • People whose content you like (possibly including stories and live videos)
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for



  1. Timeliness: How recent are your posts?


Instagram wants to show you posts that are recent and more relevant. Recent posts likely rank higher in your feed so that the timing of your post is still relevant to others.



  1. Profile Searches: Profiles you check out often


When you are searching certain profiles regularly, Instagram will show these people most recent photos in your Discovery page and suggest other people you may want to follow.



  1. Direct Shares: Posts you are sharing


Direct Shares act as a signal for Instagram, helping them to understand your interests and what you are interested in sharing.


  1. Time Spent: Duration of time spent viewing a post


The goal of the Algorithm is to show you the posts that you care most about. Whether it is your best friend’s or profiles that you view on a regular basis, Instagram wants to keep you engaged with those people.



There you have it – some insider knowledge on the mysteriously brilliant operation of the Instagram Algorithm.