Understanding IG Algorithm

Before you read any further, we know that we do not have a thousand of followers on Instagram and we are just trying to explain what we have come of understand about Instagram Algorithm. We are all about learning and sharing things as we go and getting inputs and comments and learning more from them. We are planning on making this a regular thing on our blog. Read along and if you have something to add then please leave a comment below!
So if you have been using Instagram for some time, you might have noticed that Instagram keeps changing their strategy quite often, which changes the content that you see on your feed. Let’s look at this from 2 perspectives:
You are an influencer and want your post t reach maximum number of people
You want to see the posts from your favorite accounts
Whether you are an influencer or not, read along to understand how IG works with the new algorithm and what all matters. Now, what your IG feed looks like depends on a number of factors and we will try to explain them as we go:
Based on what and who you like, not who you follow: So, you are following a number of people but your feed constantly shows posts from some people and not others, that’s because your IG feed is personalized depending on who you like (whose posts you like and comment on) and not on who you follow. IG algorithm is a machine learning platform and it personalizes your feed depending on your preferences. So if you feel like you have been missing posts from some of your fav IG accounts, it is your cue to start engaging with their posts, like and comment on their posts regularly. Two people who follow the same accounts might not have similar looking feeds because it depends on whom they interact with.

Relationship between people: Instagram wants to support sharing of photos between friends and family, so when you comment on your fav instagram accounts, they start falling in your friends’ category and you will see more of their posts on your feed. I do not complain when some of my favorite accounts are always at the top of my feed, makes me feel like I am friends with them.

So if you are an influencer, encourage your audience to tag you in photos and comments. And if you genuinely like someone’s IG and want to always see their posts in your feed, engage with their posts.

How much time do you spend on Instagram: Your feed changes depending on how much time you spend on Instagram because when you spend more time on Instagram and scroll for long enough you will eventually see more posts and thus allowing Instagram to show you more accounts which might not be the ones with whom you interact all the time. But if you feel like there are always new posts on your Instagram feed and you are still not able to see posts from your feinds and family, you should consider going on an unfollow spree and unfollow or even mute some accounts.

Frequency at which you post: How many people see your pictures depends on how often you post. The old IG algorithm “If you post good content you don’t have to worry about how often you post” doesn’t work any more. So if you are consistent, people are more likely to see your posts because the IG feed has some chronology to it now. So it is less likely to show your followers your post from a week back even if you have the best content.

Answering some of the questions we got:
What is Shadow-ban and how do I know if I have been shadow banned? Okay, so guys, Shadow BAN is not real. It was all the hype a few years back when people thought that their accounts get shadow Bnaned because of excessive use of hanshtags, as it makes Instagram think that yours is a SPAM account. But it doesn’t happen anymore. So feel free to try as many hashtags as you want (although 30 is the limit). But it doesn’t help much if you use the same 30 hashtags every time. We will do another post on choosing a Hashtag strategy that works for you.
Are my posts ranked higher if I use all the IG features? NO! This is also not true. It doesn’t help if you use all of the IG features and IG doesn’t favor posts from accounts that use all the features. Yes it helps if you make engaging stories and are directing people to your posts through your stories but if doesn’t affect the way Instagram ranks your post.
Do Geo-tags matter? Yes! They do matter in terms of your post being shown to people in the explore section. Your post is more likely to be seen by people near your geo tagged location in the explore section of Instagram, but it doesn’t have an effect on people who are already following you. So people who follow you and engage with your posts are more likely to see your posts irrespective of you using the geo tags.
While it is also seen that Instagram favors some places more than others. There have been various articles about how Mykonos is Instagram’s most favored location and how posts with this geo tag perform well than other and have a higher reach.
Does Instagram hide posts from some accounts? Instagram does not hide posts from any accounts, so if you keep scrolling for long enough, you will eventually see posts from all the accounts that you are following. In fact it even tells you that you are all caught up on the new posts from the last day, if you keep scrolling long enough. It means that the reach of your post may vary from the total number of followers you have depending on how long they spend on Instagram and how often they interact with your posts. More the interaction, more likely is your post going to show at the top of your follower’s feed.
Are videos preferred over Pictures? Although Instagram says that there is no discrimination between a video post and a normal picture post but we have seen many influencers saying that the video posts usually reach less number of people than Pictures.
How often should I post? No Instagram doesn’t downrank your posts if you post more frequently. So the frequency at which you want to post pictures is totally your call and ideally it won’t affect the reach of your posts. Although if you are posting 4-5 pictures each day, your audience might feel flooded with your posts all over their IG feed, but that has got nothing to do with IG algorithm. So be free and experiment what number of posts each day works best for you.
Is there a difference between personal and Business Account? As such, in terms of the reach of your post, it doesn’t matter if your account is personal or business. Business account has its benefits with the analytics part but it does not affect the reach of your posts in any way.
So here it is, IG algorithm summed up in a post. As promised, we will start doing more of these posts!
Till next time!
XX
The Tonks

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