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For aeons users across Instagram have been talking about the famously infamous “Instagram Algorithm” and how the engagement order is “Save. Share. Comment. Like.” But with everything being said there was no confirmation from Instagram officially about the existence of such an algorithm. Finally! Instagram in its latest blog post “Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works” has put an end to the misconceptions and has answered tried to answer questions  like “How does Instagram decide what shows up for me first?”; “Why do some of my posts get more views than others?”; and “How does Instagram decide what to show me in Explore?

via GIPHY

What is “the algorithm”?

Instagram has made it clear by saying that it doesn’t have one algorithm that oversees what people do see and don’t see on the app. Instead it uses a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.


How we rank Feed and Stories

Instagram knows that Feed and Stories are places where people wish to see content from people they are closest to. The following post explains step by step how ranking works. 


How we rank Explore

Instagram designed Explore to help people discover new things. The grid is made up of recommendations – photos and videos that Instagram goes out and finds for its users. Explore is very different from Feed and Stories, where the majority of content users see is from the accounts they follow.


How we rank Reels

Instagram introduced Reels purely for entertaining its users. Similar to Explore, majority of the content that users see is from the accounts they don’t follow. Instagram first sources Reels that they think users might like and then order them based on how interesting users find them to be. 


“Shadowbanning”

People have often accused Instagram of shadowbanning them or restricting them. It is a broad term that people use to describe several different experiences they have on Instagram. Instagram has recognised that it hasn’t always done enough to explain why it takes down content it does. Which as a result inevitably makes people come to their own conclusions about why something has happened. 


How you can influence what you see

How users use Instagram heavily influences the things they see and do not see on their feed. They can help improve their experience by simply interacting with the profiles and posts they enjoy. But there are a few more “explicit things” that people can do to influence what they see.

After breaking down its working system, Instagram says: “There is more we can do to help you to shape your Instagram experience based on what you like. We also need to continue to improve our ranking technology and, of course, make fewer mistakes. Our plan is to be proactive about explaining our work across all three areas from here on out. Stay tuned.”