How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2020

Since Instagram has stepped away from employing feeds that display content in chronological order, many have wondered how the social media platform’s algorithm works. Understanding Instagram’s algorithm has been a pressing concern for many brands and social media influencers who take advantage of the promotional features the platform has to offer.

They want to understand the type of content they should post and when they should post it. They also want to understand how to increase their followers’ engagement levels. Here is information concerning how Instagram’s algorithm works in 2020.

How the Instagram Algorithm Affects Instagram Feed

Though Instagram’s algorithm continually changes, Algo Sea Biz highlights six elements in particular that affect feed posts. The six elements are as follows:

  1. Following
  2. Usage
  3. Interest
  4. Relationships
  5. Time
  6. Frequency

In regard to the first element, the algorithm takes into consideration the number of accounts a user follows when choosing what content to prioritize on said user’s feed. The more accounts the user follows, the more content the algorithm has at its disposal.

Concerning the second element, the algorithm monitors application usage (i.e., the amount of time the user spends on the platform). The algorithm tracks usage because the more time the user spends on Instagram, the more content he or she will be able to see.

Regarding the third element, interest, the algorithm gauges how much a specific post will pique the interest of the user; it takes into account who the user follows and what the user has liked in the past to predict the user’s level of interest.

The fourth element, relationships, refers to the relationships between the user and the accounts he or she follows. The algorithm uses these relationships to determine the extent to which the user will care about posts from a particular account.

It characterizes these relationships by factoring in the posts the user has liked, the posts the user has commented on, the accounts the user has tagged or was tagged by, the accounts the user has searched for, and the accounts the user has directly messaged.

The fifth element, time, refers to when specific content is posted on the platform. The algorithm pays attention to time so that it can present the user with the latest content on his or her feed.

The final element, frequency, refers to how frequently the user scrolls through his or her feed. If the user scrolls through his or her feed often, the algorithm will display content more chronologically. If the user rarely scrolls through his or her feed, the algorithm will prioritize the content that it believes the user will like.

How the Instagram Algorithm Affects Instagram Stories

The algorithm sorts Instagram story content based on the user’s engagement history. The accounts that the user engages with the most, through posts or stories, will appear first on the Instagram stories row, which appears at the top of the platform’s home page.

The algorithm also focuses on timeliness so that it can prioritize the latest stories from the user’s most sought after accounts.

How the Instagram Algorithm Affects the Instagram Explore Page

The algorithm for the Instagram Explore page aims to provide the user with new content that he or she will probably like. No two explore pages will be the same since the algorithm is designed to create personalized explore pages that are based on the behaviors and preferences of each user.

The algorithm tracks the user’s likes, comments, story views, and IGTV views to identify the pieces of content that the user will find interesting when scrolling through his or her explore page.

How the Instagram Algorithm Affects IGTV Videos

Content on the user’s IGTV falls into three categories. One category is called ‘For You’ and it consists of content that the algorithm chooses as it takes into account who the user follows and the posts he or she likes. Another category is the ‘Following’ category and it consists of IGTV content from accounts that the user already follows. The final category is the ‘Popular’ category and it consists of videos that are trending on IGTV due to massive levels of popularity.

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