Beating the Instagram Algorithm: A Step-by-Step Guide to Get More Followers and Likes

Instagram algorithm chooses which content to prioritize on the Feed in order of relevance. Some creators have a better chance than others of getting a better audience for their publications.

All social media platforms aim to provide a unique experience for each user. A common technique for this is to use a ranking algorithm that displays content that may interest them. But since all platforms work differently, the approach used is also different for each. Today we are going to tell you about Instagram’s algorithm. Find out how it works and how you can benefit from it.

Instagram algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm consists of a set of processes that classify the content displayed on the platform. It is a way to organize the Feed to offer posts that interest each user individually. For this purpose, it relies on several ranking signals to determine the content people will want to see.

In addition, the platform consists of several parts. Each part is supported by an algorithm that organizes it in a way suitable for each user.

Instagram‘s algorithm performs ranking and predictive analysis focused on user interests. It defines the order in which posts appear in the Feed and the Explore tab, as well as StoriesReels, and IGTV. These are the rules that define the organic reach of content.

How does it work?

Like Facebook’s and TikTok’s algorithms, Instagram’s algorithm is primarily based on user behavior. It extracts information from the messages and content with which the user interacts, particularly on his engagement. Certain factors, therefore, influence the algorithm.

The first factor corresponds to the information concerning the post, that is to say, everything that the algorithm can extract from the same publication. One relates to the content’s nature (photo or video). The rest can be the publication date, number of likes, location, and duration (in a video case).

Then comes the information about the creator. There, it is a question of determining the interest that it represents for the user, in other words, the fact that he follows it or not. In addition, this influence factor also includes the engagement that the creator has obtained on all of its content in the last few weeks.

Instagram also takes user activity into account. It includes knowing what types of content interest him the most. To determine this, the algorithm considers their recent activity history and the number of posts they have liked.

Finally, it analyzes the user’s interaction history with a specific creator. Five types of interactions particularly influence Instagram’s algorithm. The first consists of the time the user spends on a publication, the appreciation (like), the comments, and the saving of a post. Finally, the likelihood of the user tapping on the profile from the post also matters.

Downgrading Factors

The fact that some posts appear in priority on the Feed means that others are demoted. Generally, when a creator publishes several contents in a row on Instagram, the algorithm avoids displaying them successively. However, it displays other posts when the user refreshes their Feed.

Also, like any social media platform, Instagram imposes certain community guidelines. Therefore, content that violates these guidelines is removed. Similarly, if a creator shares misinformation regularly, the algorithm downgrades the author.

Instagram’s Algorithm Ranking Signals

Instagram's Algorithm Ranking Signals

Remember that considering the factors mentioned above, the Instagram algorithm performs analyses to organize the flow. But again, it’s mostly based on a few ranking signals.


To be precise, interactions with other users give the algorithm an idea of ​​the type of content that interests them. In practice, if a user frequently likes or comments on a specific creator’s posts, that creator will appear in their Feed more often.

The interests

Based on previous interactions, Instagram’s algorithm will then present content that may interest the user. For example, if they often watch, like, or comment on fashion-related content, they will be more likely to find the same content in their Feed.


Instagram also uses how often the user uses the app as a ranking signal. Note that the ranking could become chronological if he spends a lot of time on the platform. The reason is that the algorithm aims to provide the best posts, and recency is considered a relevance factor. In other words, each time he updates his Feed, he sees the latest posts since his last visit.

On the other hand, if the user is not active often, Instagram’s algorithm offers the content it considers worthy of interest.

Followed accounts

Followed accounts

If you think following more accounts would make you see more content, think again. In reality, many accounts allow the algorithm to choose from more content. But for the user, this means he may not see certain posts. The more accounts you follow, the more posts you are likely to miss. And if you still need to figure it out, the engagement with creators determines who will appear first in the stream.


Finally, Instagram’s algorithm uses the timeliness of a topic to determine its relevance. This ties in with the recency factor mentioned earlier. So a Christmas-themed post would be less likely to appear in a user’s Feed in June.

Instagram’s algorithm in other post types

Now that you understand how the algorithm organizes posts in the Feed let’s see how it works for Instagram’s other features.

The algorithm for Instagram Stories

For Instagram Stories, the algorithm works similarly to the Feed. It prioritizes engagement and recency. In other words, the creators with whom the user interacts the most come first. In addition, the most recent Stories also take advantage of the oldest ones.

The Instagram Algorithm for Reels

The Instagram Algorithm for Reels

Regarding Instagram’s algorithm for Reels or Reels, engagement with a specific creator always takes precedence as a ranking signal. Besides, it may suggest videos from new creators taking into account the user’s interests. It considers user activity, interaction history, and information about the Reel and the creator.

On the other hand, videos with low resolutions, blurred or extracted from other applications, bearing, for example, the watermark of TikTok, are downgraded by the algorithm. Also, Instagram reels revolve around political issues.

Instagram’s algorithm for IGTV

Regarding IGTV, Instagram uses the same approach as Reels, that is, considering interests. Similarly, interaction with creators and engagement topics in the stream sends signals to the algorithm to rank IGTV videos.

The algorithm for Instagram Explorer

Instagram Explorer is the page that corresponds to the research section. In this part, the algorithm offers you exclusively or almost exclusively content from new creators. It should be noted that in all cases, Instagram’s algorithms aim to display the most relevant publications for users. 

To launch a search, enter the keywords. Instagram’s algorithm extracts keyword-related information from content, hashtags, etc.

On the other hand, the biggest influencers are likessaves, and shares. In other words, Instagram considers the posts’ popularity, the level of engagement obtained, and the topics that interest the user.

How to outsmart Instagram’s algorithm?

How to outsmart Instagram's algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm should no longer hold any secrets for you. Now, if you’re wondering how to get your post ranked first, here are some tips that will help you get more engagements.

Encourage engagement

Given the importance of likes and comments, encourage users to engage with your posts. To do this, start by writing engaging captions. You can also invite the public to share their opinions in the comments.

Connect with the public.

Even if you successfully grab users’ attention, it’s important to keep them engaged by building relationships with them. Thus, consider their expectations to offer more relevant content and respond to comments and DMs.

Beat Instagram’s algorithm with hashtags

Using hashtags is a great way to promote your posts for free. They make it easier to reach new audiences who would be interested in the topic of your content. A publication can include up to 30 hashtags, which helps to optimize its visibility. However, be sure to choose the right hashtags related to your publication.

Take advantage of Instagram’s different features.

Take advantage of Instagram's different features

Although Instagram’s algorithm promotes individual posts, using other features helps expose your posts. So, in addition to optimizing your content for the Feed, you can use post carousels and publish more Reels and Stories. For stories in particular, use stickers that encourage audience engagement.

Instagram Insights

Instagram’s analysis tool lets you get useful information about your posts. First, it offers insight into when your audience is most active. It is essential information, allowing you to publish at the right time to have the maximum chance of being seen. You can also schedule your posts to post frequently. In addition, Instagram Insights also allows you to discover which of your posts have the best results or are the best-performing hashtags.

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