How the Instagram algorithm works in 2021

In the digital age, the real power lies with algorithms . They are the ones who decide what to show and what not, what is relevant to what may interest us and what is destined to remain in oblivion. Algorithms are constantly evolving, becoming more and more intelligent and demanding. This is why, for those involved in content marketing, it is important to know them and keep up with their evolutions, to always be sure to calibrate the marketing strategies to the best. Those who use Instagram to do business, for example, know that to reach their audience they must try to please the algorithm that controls it as much as possible. So let’s see how the Instagram algorithm works in 2021.

How many times has the Instagram algorithm changed

Let’s try to clarify a bit. The Instagram algorithm has changed substantially only once . And we have all witnessed it. At the beginning, in fact, we were used to seeing the posts published according to a temporal order. We all saw the same content that changed based on when the app was accessed. From 2016 onwards we have witnessed the evolution of the social Instagram. We no longer see posts in chronological order, but Instagram tends to choose what to show us based on our tastes . It means that the Instagram algorithm is so advanced that it is able to calculate, based on the behavior we have on the platform, what we like and what we might be interested in. This is the big change that has taken place in recent years. We don’t know exactly how the algorithm works , which remains a well-kept secret, but the guidelines tell us that it is always the same and that it has the ability to evolve based on our interests and behaviors.

Instagram smartphone

What we know about the Instagram algorithm

We understand that the algorithm has undergone a big change and that it is now able to evolve and change according to user preferences. We don’t know exactly how it works, but from the little data we have and trying to understand at least part of its functioning, we can organize our strategy and our contents to be aligned with it.

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2021

According to what Instagram itself tells us, there are six factors that the algorithm takes into consideration when deciding which content to show :

Relationship , for this factor the past interactions entertained in the platform are taken into consideration.
Interest , the degree of interest is studied through the previous behaviors and therefore likes, saved posts, interaction with similar content.
Timing , newer posts are shown before older ones, compared to when connecting to the app.
Usage frequency , the analysis of this factor is to ensure that the best posts available are shown first, but it also means that more frequent posts will be shown more often.
Following (number of people you follow), this is also a fact that is taken into consideration in the complex decision of which content to show, the more people you follow, the more different content is shown.
Time spent on the platform , the more time you spend on IG the more you count none will be shown.

How to use the algorithm to grow on Instagram

These elements give us a series of indications that can be used to try to align our strategy to grow on Instagram, taking advantage of factors that are important for the algorithm. We know that engagement or relationship is one of the most important factors. Whenever someone interacts with us, they send a signal to Instagram. The more these interactions grow, the more chance we would have of being shown to those who follow us. Every time we receive a like or a comment, for example, it is a signal that our content is of interest and that there is an interaction between us and those who follow us. Instagram records this data and in the future, especially if these interactions continue, it will show our content even more often to those who interact with us, because it means that we are in line with the interests of those who follow us. This is why it is important to interact with our followers , always. Responding to comments or Direct Messages is a way to show the algorithm that there is interest.

Instagram is interested in keeping people on its platform as much as possible, which means that time is of the essence. Studying the frequency of use of our followers tells us when many of them are online and therefore when it is better to publish to have a better chance of being “seen”. Not only that, again for the time factor, Instagram tends to offer the best possible experience to users, to invite them to spend as much time as possible on the platform, in conclusion, the more time we can paste people into the app. more Instagram will reward.

Another way to entertain your followers as much as possible is to use all the tools made available by the social network, in particular stories and reels, as they generate a very high engagement.

Monica Curreli

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