6 key factors that influence the Instagram algorithm for feed posts according to the folks at Instagram

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The Instagram Algorithm in 2021

By now you’ll know that the algorithm can behave in a way you would not always expect it to, that is if you’ve spent any time on Instagram since the time it came into existence.

But you can tailor your content strategy to work alongside it,  once you understand how the elusive algorithm actually works.

Here’s everything you need to know:

There are 6 key factors that influence the Instagram algorithm for feed posts according to the folks at Instagram:

Factor #1: Interest

Your Instagram feed is not only based on who you follow, but is also based on the accounts and types of posts you have liked over a period of time.

The more that the Instagram algorithm thinks you will “like” a certain type of post, the higher it will appear in your feed.

What that means is that, what you see on your feed is a combination of all of your Instagram behaviors.

The type of posts that you like and comment on, the accounts you interact with the most, and of course the people you are tagged in photos with.

This is why it is imperative for you to be consistently showing up on Instagram. It sends positive signals to the Instagram algorithm — and gives your audience more opportunities to interact with your content.

So What Engagements do you think Are the Most Important to the Instagram Algorithm?

When it comes to feed performance, the Instagram algorithm prioritizes content which most engaged with. The most important metrics of engagements according to Instagram for feed ranking are comments, likes, reshares, and views for videos, keep this in mind as you plan your content and captions.

Factor #2: Relationship 

The Instagram algorithm wants to prioritize posts from accounts that you care about the most, so obviously that would mean,  your friends, & family. The algorithm uses your interactions to piece together who is closest to you in order for Instagram to show you what you want,  by that we mean, what you really, really want 🙂

A software engineer at Instagram, shared how Instagram could theoretically figure out who you care about the most, based on how you use the app:

  • People whose content you like (possibly including stories and live videos)
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for
  • People you know in real life

Instagram will try to calculate this relationship (and your interest level) as soon as you follow someone by serving you their content and monitoring how you engage with it.

Factor #3: Timeliness

The algorithm not only pays attention to how many people engage with your Instagram posts, but it also looks at how recently the photo was posted.

because it always wants to serve you the latest, most interesting posts Instagram’s algorithm cares about when you posted.

If you post at a time when your followers are online and most active, you give yourself a better chance of getting more likes.

There are ways to find out your personalised best time to post on Instagram, this way you can hack the algorithm to increase your reach and get more likes and followers.

Factor #4: Frequency 

Are you addicted to Instagram ?

You will notice that your feed tends to look more chronological  if you’re a frequent scroller, this is because Instagram always tries to show you the best posts since your last visit.

On the other hand your feed will be sorted into what Instagram thinks you’ll like, instead of chronologically, if you check the Instagram app less often.

Factor #5: Following

Chances are that you probably won’t see all of the posts from every account If you follow a lot of people because Instagram has more options to choose from..

If a large percentage of your following is inactive a good idea would be to keep systematically removing inactive or “ghost” followers, they could be doing more harm than good for your account’s algorithmic ranking.

Factor #6: Usage

you are going to see more posts as Instagram digs deeper into its catalogue If you spend a lot of time on Instagram.

you may even run out of new content to see if you spend enough time on Instagram. Once this happens the algorithm will serve you suggested content from new accounts based on your previous interactions.

You are mostly going to get only the day’s highlights from the algorithm if you only spend a few minutes in the app each day, then.



A Digital Junkie, Brand Consultant & Solutions Architect, by Day. Techno / Psy Evangelist. by Night Traveller Nomad Driver & Explorer For Eternity
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