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How does the Instagram algorithm work?
After Facebook, Instagram also updates its algorithm by increasing the focus on social relationships and interaction. Until just before the update, the posts were simply shown in chronological order, but today Instagram’s choice of what to show you or not in the feed depends on several factors.
Myths to dispel
First of all, however, it is better to immediately dispel four myths that self-styled gurus are often preaching around the net.
The truth is that
- The algorithm does not reward those who mainly publish stories or live videos. If your content is useful then you will get more interactions that favor (as you can see in the next chapter, your positioning in the feed); moreover, the concept of usefulness depends on your target who may find content useful because it is fun or gives a solution or simply wants to know about you.
- The algorithm does not reward corporate accounts instead of individuals and vice versa.
- The algorithm does not penalize those who use too many hashtags (it could just be a nuisance for those who read your posts).
- The algorithm does not penalize those who post in bursts, at most it can divide the sequence of posts being published in the feed.
The criteria that influence the algorithm
The main criteria that intervene in the choice of posts to show you or not are:
- INTEREST – That is, those contents that, based on your previous choices (comments, likes, and videos viewed), you might like. So, if you have a business, start interacting with a target audience so that you will start seeing their posts and, by interacting, you will contribute to make yourself known and, if these people interact with you, a relationship will be activated, in this way you increase the odds that your posts are shown to your target and not to your cousin or your middle school friends!
- TIMELINESS – Here returns the history or you will tend to see the latest publications of your contacts.
- RELATIONSHIP – The algorithm tends to show you the posts of those you have interacted with most lately. This is a crucial point to ensure that our posts are seen by those who care. The tactic is that we first need to take an interest in our target audience by fostering the relationship. For example by leaving a comment that generates alike from the recipient who, in turn, comments and contributes to strengthening the relationship.
To these three fundamental criteria, we add a whole other series of parameters that influence the positioning of posts in the feed:
- FOLLOWING – The number of posts shown per person followed will be inversely proportional to the number of people followed. The reason is that the algorithm tries to show you the most posts from the most people followed.
- USAGE – The more time we spend on the app, the more posts the system will show us. Less time corresponds to a more rigid selection of contents.
- FREQUENCY – The more times we log into Instagram in the same day, the more the algorithm will focus on a selection based on the Timeliness parameter showing you fresher content.
There is no “automatic” way to favor your posts or to make people see what you post. Beyond sponsoring content (recommended for companies), a tactic that I recommend is undoubtedly to select your target by trying to understand who might be interested in your products or services and start a relationship with your target through likes. and comments. When people interact with your action, the algorithm registers a “relationship” which, over time, increases the likelihood that your posts will be offered right in these people’s feed.