How does the Instagram algorithm work

What’s the Instagram algorithm and its history?

Instagram's algorithm is constantly evolving, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest changes. Actually, Instagram isn’t using a single algorithm. In fact, they use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each of them having its own purpose. 

This article will go through the latest changes in the Instagram algorithm in 2022 and see how they rank Feed, Stories, Explore page, and Reels.

The most significant change to Instagram's algorithm happened in 2016 when they switched from a chronological feed to a personalized feed. 

For users, this change means that they'll see more content that they're interested in. But it also means that they may miss out on content from people they follow who don't post often. 

For creators and brands, this change means that they are competing for a spot in the personalized feeds’ of their audience, meaning that they should now be creating quality content that will appeal to their target audience. 

Now that we have that clarified let's jump to see how you can skyrocket your Instagram account. Of course, we’re also going to give you tips on staying ahead of competitors. Let’s get into it!

How Instagram algorithm ranks Feed and Stories in 2022

Instagram looks at the relationship between the user and the person who posted the content. If you follow someone and regularly engage with your posts, their content will likely show up in your feed. Therefore, the prioritized content is from friends, family, and closest ones to people. Though the signals that are collected are: 

1. Information about the post

These signals are about:

  • How popular a post is
  • How many people have liked it 
  • When was the content posted
  • Location
  • Duration (if a video) 
2. Information about the person who posted

This determines if the account that posted might be interesting for the user. An example of this signal is the number of times that people interacted with the account that posted in the past few weeks.

3. User’s activity

The users' activity shows what they might be interested in and the amount posts they liked. 

4. Your history of interacting with someone 

This gives Instagram a sense of how interested you are generally in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

How Instagram algorithm ranks Explore in 2022

1. Information about the post

Here it’s all about how quickly a post becomes popular. Thus, Instagram looks at how quickly people like, share, comment, and save a post. Note that these signals matter much more in Explore than in Feed & Stories. 

2. User’s history of interacting with the person who posted 

When a person interacts with a post from a specific account, it gives Instagram a sense of how interested the user might be in this specific photo/video. 

3. User’s activity

Signals such as what posts the user has:

  • Liked
  • Saved
  • Commented
  • Interacted
4. Information about the person who posted 

These are signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks to help find compelling content from a wide array of people.

How Instagram algorithm ranks Reels in 2022

Did you know that reels receive more engagement than regular video content at a rate of about 22%? That’s right - reels are great to cheat the Instagram algorithm. 

Take the NBA franchise accounts, for example. They increased by 22% in engagement rates, the same as many other brands and businesses that are noticing the same trend. 

1. User’s activity

Instagram looks at which reels a particular user liked, commented on, and recently engaged with. These signals show what content might be relevant to the user.

2. User’s history of interacting with the person who posted

Like Explore, a reel is created by someone the user has never heard of. However, if they interacted with this account, it gives Instagram a sense of how interested the user might be in this specific reel. 

3. Information about the reel

Such signals are about the content within the video, such as:

  • Audio track
  • Video understanding, based on pixels and whole frames
  • Popularity 
4. Information about the person who posted 

Here, popularity is one of the most significant factors. It helps to find compelling content from a wide array of people and gives a chance for accounts to find the right audience.

Reels can be a great way to promote your business or brand. You can use them to show off your products or services or to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. This can be a great way to increase your brand awareness and get your followers interested in what you do. 

How to make the most of the Instagram algorithm for your content

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with content, it can be hard to make your voice heard. The Instagram algorithm is designed to help users see the most relevant content for them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it to ensure as many people see your content as possible. 

Here are some tips on how to make the most of the Instagram algorithm: 

1. Use Hashtags 

When you use a hashtag, your content will appear in the search results for that hashtag. So, if you use popular and relevant hashtags, you’re more likely to be seen by people interested in your content. 

2. Reels, reels, reels

If you really want to cheat the algorithm, your best friend will be IG reels. As we already discussed in the previous points, this is a powerful way of making the Instagram algorithm work for you. Simply judging by our Instagram page, most reels tend to do 200% better than usual posts.  

3. Engage with other users 

Engaging with other users is a great way to get your content seen by more people.
By doing this, you’re sending signals to the Instagram algorithm that you’re an active user. Thus, your content is considered more relevant and will rank higher. You're more likely to show up in their feed when you like, comment on, or share other users’ content.

4. Use relevant keywords 

Using relevant keywords in your caption can help your content show on people’s Feed and Explore pages.

5. Don’t forget ALT text

Something underestimated, the alternative text serves as a description of your picture. This way, Instagram’s search engines can pick up the keywords you’re using and show it to the most relevant people.


It’s great knowing how the Instagram algorithm works and what steps you need to take to make it work for you. However, it’s also important to show consistency by creating a content plan, relevancy by brainstorming tons of social media content ideas, and simply don’t get spammy by avoiding shadowbans

Doing all of that will allow you to grow your audience, which later you can convert to your Fangage platform. Thousands of creators are already taking advantage of our features. Be the next one and build your independent career!

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