How the Instagram algorithm works

Everyone talks about it, but few actually know how it works, because the Instagram algorithm is complicated and, let’s face it, also a bit deliberately mysterious. There are many stories about him. It is said that it changes often and all the blame for the decrease in coverage of posts on Instagram is placed on it. In fact, the only thing we can say with absolute certainty is that the Instagram algorithm is specifically designed to make us spend as much time as possible within the platform, because that is its main purpose. The more time we spend on the platform, the more interest there will be from companies in investing in their profile through sponsored posts and advertising. The time we spend on Instagram and the way we interact is its source of income for social media.

What is an algorithm

Let’s start from the beginning as always. Because to understand how the digital world works, especially that of social media, it is important to know all its components. An algorithm is a complex calculation system, which regulates the operation of the application. A series of instructions that follow a predetermined order. Algorithms are widely used in computer systems and are increasingly sophisticated, so much so that they are able to learn and learn on their own, rewriting and improving actions based on the tastes or needs of users. One of the most famous algorithms is that of Google, able to put in order and arrange all the information on the internet, to return us a search page that is as useful as possible and in keeping with our request.


Why it is important to know how the Instagram algorithm works

Let’s start by saying that it’s the algorithms that often decide who will see the content we publish. Yes, social networks also work through algorithms and it is they who decide which content to show and which not. This is why in order to grow the Instagram profile it becomes important to know how the algorithm works. Trying to understand and please him means being able to get noticed by him, who in turn will show our content to as many users as possible. So let’s see how this algorithm works, what secrets it hides and how to make the most of it to increase the visibility of our posts.

How the Instagram algorithm works

Initially, Ig had a very simple operation. It displayed posts in the feed in chronological order since they were posted. We all had the exact same explorer page and the content that we viewed and that were shown to us depended exclusively on the time we entered the social network and the time we spent on the platform. But, as we have said, algorithms are increasingly advanced systems that learn from our tastes and our actions and are able to return content in line with our needs. The Instagram algorithm has also evolved over time and its last major update, in 2016, has revolutionized its entire operation.

While many are convinced that it changes all the time, and accuse it whenever there is a decline in views, it is not. There is no new algorithm. Of course it is possible that this is updated from time to time and evolves, but the algorithm that Instagram uses has always been the same since 2016. This is what the official sources tell us.

It is precisely the official sources that we must rely on to understand how the algorithm works. As anticipated, in fact, its rules and its operation have never been explicitly revealed by Instagram, which however gives indications on what are the factors that most influence the algorithm. What we do know is that the Instagram algorithm is so advanced that it is able to customize what it shows, following the tastes and accounts that the user follows. It does all this by studying our interactions: likes, shares, saves, comments, views, time spent on social media are all indicators that IG takes into consideration to decide what to show to each of us.

Everything shown to us is exactly what he thinks we might be interested in. If I’m a food enthusiast, Instagram will notice that when I’m on social media I spend more time on posts that talk about food, than except for dishes I like, and watch a lot of recipe videos. For the algorithm it will be very easy to find content to show me, because my tastes fall into a specific category that is very simple and clear to identify.

By changing our point of view and trying to exploit these notions to grow our profile, we understand why one of the strategies for growing organically on Instagram is to act within a specific category.

The Instagram algorithm is certainly intelligent and increasingly perceptive in understanding and anticipating our tastes, but what it does is simply interpret our behavior within social networks. A profile that fits into a certain category is an instantly classified profile ready to be shown to anyone with an interest in our niche. If our posts reach the public that is really interested in our content, we will have more interactions, more chances of being shared and saved more often and therefore always shown to more people interested in our category, provided, of course, that it is of quality content. Because it is true that for those who are not a star or an influencer, quality is always a necessary element to grow and be successful on social media.

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