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How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work?

Sometimes it can feel impossible to see the results you want on Instagram. You spend so much time creating excellent content and copy to publish on your account – but when it comes to the part that matters most (engagement, impressions, likes and comments), your content is just not performing. So what are you doing wrong? We hate to break it to you but succeeding on Instagram goes beyond creating engaging content and copy. To be successful on the app, you must first understand how the Instagram algorithm works, “The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that rank content on the platform. It decides what content shows up, and in what order, on all Instagram users’ feeds, the Explore Page, the Reels feed, hashtag pages, etc.”

When deciding who to show your content to, Instagram scans the visuals and text you post to ensure it is shown to an interested audience. Hootsuite concluded that the most important factors that the Instagram algorithm takes into consideration are the relationship between the content creator and viewer, the audience’s typical interests, how relevant the content is to current trending topics and how frequently the creator and user use Instagram. 


In terms of the type of content that the Instagram algorithm favours, video and high-quality images seem to be the most successful. While Instagram has not specifically stated that video content is more successful than still images, they continue to add new video features to the app, such as Reels and live streaming – giving off this assumption.

Something else to consider…

While we’ve already learned that the Instagram algorithm responds particularly well to video content, it is also important to keep in mind that it also favours original content. 

Adam Mosseri, the chief at Instagram shared the logic behind the platform’s decision to favour original content. He mentioned that as a company, Instagram believes that  creators who spend their time and dedication creating unique content, should gain more credit and exposure than accounts that just repost content


So what does this mean for brands? It means that it’s time to think outside the box! Brands can no longer get away with resharing other user’s posts – they must now dedicate time to creating unique and creative content for social media. A great way for you to display your originality is through Instagram Reels. The Reels feature allows you to add text, effects, music and more to your videos to help communicate the message you are trying to get across. 

Additionally, creating content that showcases your brand’s values and messaging can be a great way to win over the Instagram algorithm.