WHAT IS INSTAGRAMS ALGORITHM?
The short answer: A mathematical formula that decides what you’re shown as a user on Instagram.
The Instagram algorithm decides what you see when you first log on to the app, what order you’re shown posts in, and what you’re shown on Instagram’s ‘Explore’ page. It’s important because once you understand it you can make sure your posts are seen by as many people as possible, helping you to grow your following and go viral.
WHY DOES IT EXIST?
The short answer: To show you only the ‘best’ content when you go on Instagram.
Boasting over a billion users, Instagram needs a way to automatically decide what content to show you in the news feed.
As a user, you’re following many different accounts. If all the accounts post at similar times, Instagram needs a way of comparing these posts to decide which post to show you first in the news feed. Why? Because it wants to show you the ‘best’ posts first and feature those on the 'Explore' page. It's the goal of the algorithm to make sure you have the best user experience possible. The algorithm automates this process of deciding which posts are high quality enough to show you first in the feed, and/or on the 'Explore' page.
WHAT DOES THE ALGORITHM LOOK AT?
The short answer: It looks at the likes, comments, saves, video watch time and video completion rate on your posts. It uses these performance metrics to judge whether or not your post is better than another.
Instagram’s algorithm looks at a range of factors when comparing posts to decide what to show you. This includes things like how many likes, comments, and saves your posts have. If your post is a video it will also include stats like how many people watched your video to 75% or 100% completion, or how many times it was watched. Additionally, the algorithm also counts how long you spent viewing a post and it's comments.
These are just a few of the factors that the algorithm uses to decide which post is better than another. Once it's done this it will place the 'better' posts first and higher up in your newsfeeds. The posts it judges as amazing from these stats will then be featured on 'Explore' page where it can go viral.
CAN IT BE BEATEN?
The short answer: Yes.
Once you know what the algorithm uses and looks for, you can reverse engineer it to make it do what you want. This is how we get our clients above average reach, and help our clients to go viral.