Instagram’s infamous algorithm dissected

It’s been a mystery to many – the ever-changing, and somewhat unbeatable, algorithm of the internet’s number one image and video social media platform – Instagram.

Finally, light has been shed with Instagram sharing insight into how its algorithm works – music to brands, celebrities, influencers and even agencies’ ears…
“Instagram doesn’t have one algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t see on the app. We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose. We want to make the most of your time, and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to do that.”  ~ Instagram
There’s a host of criteria that Instagram uses to form its algorithm. Here’s a snapshot of the main ones used across both Feed and Stories content…
Popularity and information
Looking into the engagements levels as well as where, when and how the content was shared
Profile activity and relevancy
Helps identify how interesting the profile is to its audience including data on profile visits
User’s behaviour
Understanding user’s behaviour to match content with user’s interests and likes
History of interacting with others
Determining how much a user cares about a post from a certain brand or individual. A key signal is how often users are commenting on these posts. 
“In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo. The more likely you are to take an action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you’ll see the post.” ~ Instagram
It’ll be interesting to see how brands, celebrities and influencers soak up this information and run with it over the coming months.
To help businesses navigate the pandemic we launched SpringLoaded – a series of free insights, presentations and downloadable guides covering all basis including Social Media, the types and how we use them here at ICG. 
View the full campaign here