I’ve been getting lots of questions on this lately: How does the Instagram algorithm work to maximize likes, comments and followers?

My friends at Hootsuite complied this original post, a long version, and I’ve distilled it for you, so it’s easy to understand.

Here’s the thing to remember: Instagram’s primary goal is to maximize the time users spend on the platform: the longer users linger, the more ads they see: accounts that help Instagram achieve this are rewarded.

Instagram’s top 3 ranking signals:

1️⃣ Relationships: Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content from accounts that users interact with a lot: comments, DMs, tagging. The algorithm recognizes that the two of you are “close.”

2️⃣Interest: The algorithm also predicts which posts are important to users based on their past behavior.

3️⃣Timeliness: The algorithm shows users newer posts first. For brands, the timeliness ranking signal means that paying attention to your audience’s behavior, and posting when they’re online, is key.

Other Factors:

?Frequency of Use: This depends on how often a user opens the app. The algorithm aims to show users the best and most popular posts since they last looked at their feed.

?Following Account: If a user follows a lot of accounts, they’ll probably see fewer posts from any one specific account. But they’ll see a wider breadth of posts overall. But if they follow a smaller number of accounts, they’ll likely see more of each account’s posts.

?Usage a.k.a. session time: A user who spends 45 minutes on Instagram will go deeper into the back catalogue and see more posts than a user who scans for 5 minutes, and catches only the greatest hits.

?Using Stories or going Live won’t make the algorithm like you more.

?Verified users don’t get special treatment (and neither do business accounts).

Next Blog…7 tips to make the Instagram algorithm work in your favor!

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