by Claire Camilleri

Just like any other social media application, Instagram has evolved and updated the way how one makes use of the platform daily. When Instagram first started off, posts on feeds were shown in chronological order. As the number of users grew on the platform, Instagram had to change the way posts are displayed. At one point most of the posts were not reaching the right audience. Therefore, algorithms were implemented as part of our Instagram experience.

When a post usually does not do as well as one might expect it is usually blamed on the algorithm. So, in this blog post let’s venture the world of algorithms and let’s check out various ways on how one can make the most out of the Instagram algorithm.

Firstly, the Instagram algorithm is not just one function that determines the entire pattern, it is made up from algorithms, classifiers and processes. Each section of the application makes use of different parts of the algorithms, so the Feed, the Reels and the Explore page are in many ways unique to one another. The 3 main elements of Instagram are all ranked according to the user, this way the experience is more catered towards the interest shown on the application. When ranking feeds and stories they are usually pushing content distributed by friends or the accounts that one interacts with the most. Feed ranking is usually estimated through various elements, such as the time spent on each post, likes between both accounts, comments, saves and taps on profile. This list will then change accordingly, and the feed will start curating itself from the interactions. However, these set of educated guesses are not the only factors that determine what we see on our feed. In some instances, Instagram interferes and makes sure that you are not seeing multiple posts from the same creator consecutively and decreases story value when the story is just a shared post from the feed.

Before jumping into how each separate part of Instagram is affected by the algorithm, there is a general foundation on which the algorithm is built upon. This is factored by four different elements, the information about the post, information about the person posting, your history in relation to similar posts and users and your activity on the application (So time of use etc).

The Feed

The Feed is the page that encounters the most traffic; therefore, data is gathered more accurately and since it shows posts from accounts you follow it is then organised by post content, the account that is posting, the user activity and history interaction. The more you like, comment, save and share a post, the more likely you are to have posts from the same account to show up.

The Explore Page

The main purpose for the Explore Page is for the user to explore new things, these are still made up from recommendations which are based on previous activity. However, it is not the same as the Feed and the Stories since the Explore Page is compiled from various accounts that you do not follow. It takes into account interests and interactions with various accounts and posts. The chosen posts are ranked and defined according to the users liking. The Explore Page still makes use of the general foundation that both the Feed and the Reels follow, which are the information about the post and the account posting it, the user’s activity and interaction history.

The Reels

Reels are a relatively new addition to the Instagram platform. Instagram has shifted from a photo only platform to having a mix of both photo and video, with video becoming more and more prominent daily. The main purpose of Reels is to provide entertainment; however, Reels have been used in various ways. For instances both small businesses and businesses which are well established make use of Reels as another way to promote their company. Reels shown on feeds are usually the ones from accounts that you do not follow, but in some way or another are relevant enough to be part of your algorithm. As mentioned before each part of Instagram has the same foundation, so Reels and the Explore page in some ways are similar, as Reels are sourced from the interest you shown from interactions from other reels or posts. For instance, the predictions are based on how likely you are to watch the whole reel, or how long you take viewing. When creating the Reel there are some automatic disadvantages that are easy to avoid, and can help with the success of your Reel. Instagram instantly ignores Reels that are low in quality, have watermarks, are related to political issues or are shared by political parties, figures or governments. As long as the content being shared follows Instagram’s Community Guidelines you are good to go.


Shadow banning does not really affect the success rate on a post, it usually takes place when a post does not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.

Instagram does not pick favourites against Personal, Creator or Business accounts. However, the Creator and Business accounts do have perks such as account insights that help with recognizing your audience, audience interaction and post interaction. These can better determine the most efficient time and day one might need to post in order to get a better reach.

Its super beneficial to be knowledgeable about how the algorithms change and how they work. However, when having your own business and a billion things to do, monitoring these changes and your social media accounts may seem redundant. Luckily for you we have specialised individuals that can take care of this for you.

For more information do not hesitate to contact us, and we will make sure to help you solidify your social media presence.