Instagram has recently updated its resource to explain how it ranks content across all parts of the app such as the Feed, Stories, Explore, and Reels. The criticality of understanding the Instagram ranking system has become the need of the hour, as it helps in maximizing visibility and engagement on this platform. Instagram Ranking Explained, the updated version of the 2021 post, emphasizes following its Recommendation and Community guidelines, expanded its discussion around Shadowbanning, and added new tips on personalizing Feed and Stories.
Multiple Algorithms at Work
Instagram follows a unique approach as it doesn’t use one algorithm to rank content, but instead uses multiple algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each serving a specific purpose, which determines what Instagram users see. Instagram’s Feed is a mix of content from accounts that a user follows, recommended content, and ads. There is a mixture of formats ranging from videos, images to carousels.
Instagram Ranking Explained
Instagram’s ranking system comprises three big buckets; the user, the creator, and the post, and thousands of signals to rank content differently in different parts of the app. With the Instagram Feed, the interactions such as likes, shares, saves, comments, and the time spent interacting with a post falls under user signals, as well as the accounts the user has recently followed or engaged with. Instagram will also show more images if you engage more with them, has a history of interacting with another account, activities of other accounts a user follows, and presents posts from accounts users do not follow, but Instagram thinks they might be interested in.
Creator signals include information related to the creator and guidelines followed by the content; similarly, with post information, Instagram values popularity, the time posted, and location. Instagram avoids showing too many posts from the same person or suggested posts.
Instagram Ranking for Stories, Explore, and Reels
The input signals for Instagram stories include shared accounts that do not violate Community Guidelines, viewing history, engagement history, and closeness. Ranking in Explore is very similar to ranking in feed and stories, while the most important signals for Reels are user activity, Reel information, creator information, and vice versa. Instagram’s SEO advice includes choosing a relevant Instagram handle, including relevant keywords and locations in the bio and captions, and adding up to five links in your Instagram bio.
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