How Instagram Algorithm Works Now

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In early 2018, Instagram announced an adjustment of the algorithm. A more chronological and ‘fresh’ timeline, that’s the promise. The moment is finally here! On 4 June it was announced that the social medium is currently rolling out the new algorithm. Instagram also opened a booklet about the operation of that algorithm.

Instagram Algorithm

How Instagram Algorithm Works Now
Instagram Algorithm

In 2016, Instagram replaced the chronological feed with an algorithm. The response of users? Far from positive. With this new update of the algorithm, Instagram seems to be listening to the users. But the chronological timeline as we knew it does not return in the same form.

Instagram also indicates that no posts disappear. So if you write back in your timeline long enough, you’ll automatically see the posts from days ago.

How Is the Feed Built Up from Now on?

The feed is built even better with the new algorithm based on your personal interests and the Instagram accounts you follow. TechCrunch explains that Instagram uses machine learning. Based on your behavior on Instagram, a unique timeline is created.

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3 Factors

During a meeting with TechCrunch, Instagram said that when building the timeline, three important factors are considered:

  1. Interests: based on your Instagram usage, you determine the chances that you will find a new post interesting
  2. Novelty: a new Instagram post will receive priority in a feed of a few weeks old
  3. Relationship: posts from people you often liked something about, in which you are tagged or under which you left a comment, also get more attention in your timeline

More Posts from Friends and Family

You can already see the interests in the ‘Discover’ function of Instagram. If you’re licking a cat video once, there are a lot of other cat videos in your “Discover” in no time. The same applies to the themes that distinguish Instagram, such as Food, Animals, Photography and Music.

Are you tagged in a photo? Then Instagram sees this as a signal that you are good friends with (or family of) this person. And that will cause you to see more posts from that account in your timeline. Companies can make smart use of this by encouraging their followers to tag them in photos.

These Points Also Play a Role

In addition to these key factors, according to TechCrunch, there are other points to play in building your timeline:

  • Frequency: how often do you open your Instagram app? Instagram tries to ensure that you get to see other relevant posts every time you visit
  • Track: if you follow many accounts, Instagram will want to show you posts from different accounts. As a result, you will not be able to see multiple posts from one specific account as quickly
  • Use: how long do you use Instagram? This also affects the timeline. Do you often take a quick look or do you dive into the timeline for a long, deeper time? With that information, Instagram also ensures that you continue to see the most interesting content

More Videos than Photos?

Instagram indicated earlier that there is no priority given to videos, compared to photos. But when you as a user frequently click videos or react to videos, you will automatically see more videos in your timeline.

Personal Profiles More Visible?

In addition, Instagram indicates that the visibility of posts of personal profiles is not better than that of company profiles. As a company, it is smart to use a company profile anyway, because you get more insight into your account.

Instagram Stories Offers Opportunities

The more people and businesses will use Instagram, the smaller the reach of your posts will be. Because more users mean more posts, but not automatically that users will use Instagram more or longer. And that can sometimes cause you not to scroll through your timeline so far until you have had all the posts.

Companies seem to be forced to use Instagram ads. But Instagram Stories can also offer a solution in this case. These stories can provide a wide range among your followers, without using the timeline.

In short: it is and remains important to post posts that people like. As long as your followers love your photos and videos and leave comments underneath, chances are that your posts will regularly pass in their timeline.

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