Instagram Algorithm 2021: How Posts Work on Your FeedVanda Williams
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram since it moved away from a chronological feed, you’ll know that the algorithm can behave in mysterious ways.
But, once you understand how the ambiguous algorithm works, you’ll be able to tailor your content strategy to better work with it and get likes on Instagram.
Here’s what you need to know about Instagram’s algorithm for posts in 2021:
How the Instagram algorithm works for posts in 2021
6 key factors influence the algorithm for feed posts, according to Instagram:
Factor #1: Interest
To put it plainly, what you see in your Instagram feed is a combination of your behaviour on the platform. For instance, the accounts you interact with most, the type of photos that you like and comment on, and the people you are tagged in photos with.
The more Instagram “thinks” you’ll like a certain post, the higher it will appear on your feed. As such, it isn’t only based on who you follow, it’s also based on the accounts and posts you’ve liked historically.
This is why it’s so important for brands to be consistent on the platform. It sends positive alerts to the algorithm while giving your audience more content to interact with.
Factor #2: Relationship
The Instagram algorithm will prioritise posts from your friends, family, and accounts that you care about. In doing so, Instagram uses your interactions to understand who is closest to you.
Instagram will try to calculate your relationship with someone based on how you use the app. For example:
- People whose content you like
- People you interact with over Direct Message
- People you search for
- People you know in real life
Given this information, the algorithm will try to determine your interest level as soon as you follow someone by serving you with their content and observing how you engage with it.
Factor #3: Timeliness
The Instagram algorithm takes into account both how long ago the photo was posted and how much engagement your post gets. Because Instagram always wants to show you the latest, most exciting posts, the algorithm really cares about when you posted.
With analytics, you can determine the best time to post on Instagram for your brand, enabling you to increase your reach and get more followers and likes. Posting when your followers are the most active gives you a leg up on the competition and a better chance of getting noticed.
Factor #4: Frequency
This is all about how often you open, and are using, the app. If you’re frequently scrolling, then the app will take on a more linear feel, as Instagram will try to show you the best posts since your last visit.
On the other hand, if you’re seldom using the app, your feed will be arranged by what Instagram thinks you like as opposed to a chronological feed.
Factor #5: Following
Do you follow a lot of people on Instagram? How often do you remove inactive followers?
If you follow a lot of accounts on the app, then it has more options to choose from, giving you a broader range of posts. What this means is you probably won’t be seeing all of the posts from every account.
On a similar note, it’s good to check up on your followers, systematically removing any inactive accounts or “ghost” followers. If your account has a large percentage of inactive followers, then they could negatively impact your account’s algorithmic ranking.
Factor #6: Usage
If you’re the type to spend a lot of time on Instagram, you’re going to see more posts come up as Instagram explores further into its catalogue.
Sometimes, you can even run out of new content to see on the platform. Once this happens, based on your previous interactions, the algorithm will serve you suggested content from new accounts.
On the other hand, if you only spend a few minutes in the app each day, then you’re going to just get the day’s highlights from the algorithm.
When it comes to posting on your feed, knowing the above algorithmic hacks will help you better tailor your social media content strategy to the real requirements of the platform. This will enable you to get your posts in front of more people, at the right time, and drive conversions.