The ever changing algorithm

The ever changing algorithm

4th May 2021 - 3 min read - MassGrowth

Written by 

Bruce Gains

-Managing director of MassGrowth


Instagrams algorithm. Something we all love. (Sarcasm)

Instagrams algorithm changes constantly (Much to the dismay of many of its users) and understanding how it works and how you can stay on top of it can help you gain an advantage over others.



Ever since Instagram has moved away from its beloved chronological feed, algorithm changes have made big changes to the way the platform works and how you can stay relevant. 

There are 6 main factors (This is information from Instagram themselves) that now determine the algorithm for yours and other feeds.

These are:

Interest

Relationship

Timelyness 

Frequency

Following

Usage


Now let me explain each and breakdown how they affect you.

Interest

Instagram users feeds are made up now of not just people you are following, but also recommendations based on posts you have liked in the past. For example, like a lot of pictures of dogs, then instagram is more likely to serve you up pictures of dogs on your feed. Instagram uses is algorithm to 'predict' what kind of content people want to see. the more it think s it is relevant to you, the higher in your feed it will be. 

Instagram is collecting information on you as a user, be it the accounts you view and interact with, liked and comment or even through tags you have made in your pictures.

Advice I will always give to anyone asking me how to grow on instagram and beat the algorithm:

Post Consistently.

You need to be posting at a regular schedule too stay relevant. people will see you more on their feeds, interact with your account more and therefore, see a lot more of you. 

I am tired of people coming to me saying they have posts that aren't doing so well, but they are only posting every two weeks. This definitely won't be helping your standing.

Personally I recommend posting once a day very minimum, But a good number is 2-3 posts a day. 

Scheduling tools that instagram provides make this very easy to set up. It can seem daunting, but honestly you could spend one day of your week creating content and set it up to deliver over the week saving you time too.

The most important engagements to help rank you in feeds are:

Comments

Likes

Reshares

Views

I would also argue that saves help a lot too.

Relationship

As you would expect from a social media platform, Instagram does want to recommend posts from your family, friends and profiles you are interested in. Using their technology they can try to figure out who they think is close to you and people you may want to see a bit more of.

The algorithms process of determining this is:

People you direct message 

Content you like 

Stories and live videos you view

People you know (Outside of Instagram)

People you search for

Instagram will try to serve you up content from people it determines that you are closest to, or most interested in and based on how you engage with their content. They will then use this to determine what is shown to you.

Timelyness 

Instagram wants to show its users new content so they will base feed ranking on how long ago your post has been up. To get on top of this post at times of the day when your audience is most active. This will depend somewhat on where you live or where your audience lives so research and find out the best times to post. Post at a busy time of day and the engagement you receive will push you up the algorithm ladder.

Frequency

If you are on the instagram a lot, then you may notice that most of the posts you are seeing are like how it was: In chronological order. If you haven't been on the app in a while then the algorithm works a bit harder to find the posts it thinks will interest you the most to give you the best selection. This is more relevant to the understanding off the algorithm, but it ties in to how people will see your content. 

Following

You may find that if you are following a ton of people on IG as many do, then the algorithm has a lot of posts to choose from. Posts from people you follow may appear less sporadically because of this or you may not even see some posts at all. 

Usage

Depending on how much you are on Instagram, you will see more and more posts as the algorithm finds you more and more content that it thinks you will be interested in. If you are a real keen Instagrammer then you may even have exhausted your feed. This will then make instagram recommend you new accounts content, that it thinks you will like based on your previous interactions and interests.


Having a basic understanding of what the algorithm actually is, how it is determined and how to plan around it gives you a massive advantage over the large majority of Instagrams users. Take it in mind and think what you can do to improve your ranking whether it be set up a consistent posting schedule, interacting with your target audience or even just posting at the right time of day. You have the power knowing this to dominate peoples feeds and expand your growth.