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How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2018

Instagram’s relevancy sorting algorithm has led to its 800 million-plus users seeing 90 percent of their friends’ and favorite brands’ posts, resulting in more time spent on the app. Yet the platform has never clarified exactly how the algorithm chooses what to show users until recently.

Instagram explained it ranks three main factors when creating users’ feeds: interest, recency, and relationship. Interest is how much Instagram thinks users will care about a post, with the most important obviously coming to the top. Recency  means Instagram prioritizes newer posts, and users’ relationship to the poster is also considered.

The more users interact with an account on the platform, the more likely they are to see their content up front. Instagram also takes three secondary ranking factors into account: frequency, following, and usage. Frequency is how often users actually open the app, as it wants to show them the best posts since they last visited. Following means that if users follow a lot of accounts, Instagram might show them less from one specific account so they can see more from all the accounts they follow. Usage is how long users spend on Instagram. The app determines when to show users the best posts and whether they will see less important posts.

Considering all of the above, is it really possible to game the Instagram algorithm as a state ARNG account? While there are no sure fire ways to master the algorithm, there are a few best practices that will help you. Posting regularly (posts and Insta Stories) certainly matters, due to the “recency” ranking bias. It also matters to get followers interested and engaged with your content. You want them to act on what they see, not simply scroll past a post. You want followers to like, view videos and Insta Stories, and comment. Be sure to ask questions in your posts. Remember, you can always copy and paste example post captions from the website.