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Understanding How Instagram's Algorithm Works: Insights from CEO Adam Mosseri

Introduction: Instagram, one of the leading social media platforms, recently provided valuable insights into its algorithm through CEO Adam Mosseri. Understanding how the algorithm functions is crucial for users and content creators alike. In this blog post, we will explore the main insights shared by Adam Mosseri, shedding light on how the algorithm determines what appears in our feeds and stories.

  1. Story Ranking: Stories on Instagram are ranked based on engagement likelihood, including opens, replies, and reactions. The algorithm considers user history and interactions with the author to predict which stories will be most engaging for individuals.

  2. Feed Ranking: The feed aims to show users the best content since their last app visit. Predictions are made based on the likelihood of actions such as commenting, liking, and sharing each post. Signals like interaction history, post activity, and author information are considered.

  3. Importance of Signals: User interactions, post information, and author details hold significance in the algorithm's ranking process. However, it's important to note that these predictions are not perfect. Instagram recognises the value of user controls like favourites and following to enhance the personalised experience.

  4. Reels Ranking: Reels, Instagram's short-form video feature, prioritise entertaining users. Preference is given to videos from accounts users don't follow yet. Predictions for reel interest consider individual interactions, similar actions from others, and reel content and author. Reels are currently given prominent visibility on the platform.

  5. Signal Usage: Similar signals are utilised for both feed and reel predictions. These include user interests, viewing history, content information, and author details. By analysing these signals, Instagram aims to deliver content that aligns with users' preferences.

  6. Shadow-Banning: Addressing a common concern, Adam Mosseri debunked the myth that reach is intentionally suppressed to force accounts to pay for ads. Instagram does not engage in such practices and strives to maintain a fair and transparent platform for all users.

  7. Growing Your Audience: Adam emphasised the importance of experimentation, analysing insights, collaborating with others, and creating original content to foster audience growth. Collaborating with similar-sized and similar-audience pages, combined with high-quality original content, can be an effective tactic for expanding reach.

  8. Distinguishing Original Content: Instagram actively differentiates between original content creators and aggregators. Recognising the value of originality, the platform aims to give credit and visibility to those who create unique and engaging content.


Conclusion: Understanding how Instagram's algorithm functions provides valuable insights for users and content creators. The algorithm considers various factors, including user interactions, content information, and author details. By creating original, high-quality content, collaborating with others, and analysing insights, individuals can optimise their presence on Instagram and enhance their audience growth. Instagram remains committed to providing a fair and transparent platform experience, debunking myths like shadow-banning and emphasising the value of user controls and preference.


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