Back in 2016, Instagram replaced the chronological feed with an algorithmic one. A lot of water has flowed since then, and some still don't fully understand what factors influence the ranking of posts in a friend's feed.

For you, I have written a review of the main factors in the ranking of posts in the Instagram feed. Let's also talk about what has happened to social media lately. At the end of the article are conclusions and recommendations on how to proceed.

How was it before?

Instagram used to have a simple, linear feed of posts. The posts were shown in sequence. However, it turned out to be inconvenient for users, who missed up to 70% of the entries. It is unlikely that anyone will endlessly update the tape and see who else has memorized what. To correct this, Instagram's developers introduced an algorithmic feed of posts that remains with us to this day.

What Instagram's algorithm takes into account when ranking posts

Instagram uses artificial intelligence to analyze the interests of its users. Accounts with the same subscriptions form the feed differently. Here are the factors that affect the ranking of posts in the feed.

Instagram itself identifies three main ranking factors:

  • Interest.
  • Recency (novelty).
  • Relationship.

Other factors also play a role, but these three are the priority. About this they told at a conference in San Francisco.

Main factors

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1. Interest

Instagram knows which content a user interacts with most often: likes, comments, or scrolls through a post. thanks to machine vision technology. Therefore, the feed is formed taking into account the priority topics of a particular user. To do this, Instagram recognizes photos, hashtags, and words.

For example, if a user is interested in cooking, subscribes to thematic blogs, and likes posts with recipes, Instagram will offer him posts from other accounts that are dedicated to the same topic.

2. Novelty

Despite the fact that the Instagram feed has become algorithmic, the social network still looks at the chronology, giving preference to those posts that have been published recently.

For example, posts for a user are first sorted by their interests, then by the date of publication.

3. Relationship

Like Facebook, Instagram shows posts to the people with whom the user communicates the most.

If you often like, comment on, mark, and view posts from another account, its content will be shown to you first.

Additional factors

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< em > Pictured is Instagram's food director .; < / em > < em > Gillian Gutman explains how the algorithm works < / em >

1. Periodicity

It's not about how often content is posted, but how often the user opens the app. Instagram's algorithm shows him the best posts during his absence from the network.

For example, if a person logs on to Instagram once an hour, they see the best posts in an hour. If you watch the tape once a day, you will see the best posts in 24 hours. The best results come from the accounts he is most interested in, with which he most often interacts.

2. Subscriptions

If a user subscribes to multiple accounts, Instagram adjusts to their interests and selects the most relevant posts. Accordingly, some publications will simply not be seen by the public.

3. Use

Depending on how much time a user spends on Instagram, the social network's algorithm decides whether you will see the best posts during short sessions or more if you spend a lot of time there.

The Myths of Algorithmic Tape

In addition, Instagram's development team has worked to debunk myths. They picked out the most common misconceptions concerning the ranking of social media posts and commented on them:

  • Myth # 1. Instagram hides posts in the feed. .; In fact: If the user flips through the feed for a long time, he will see EVERYTHING that was published. This is officially announced declared Instagram representatives at a conference in San Francisco.
  • Myth # 2. Moving to a business account reduces coverage. .; In fact: coverage for new commercial accounts is declining because of high competition. Quality and regular content will always be the key to high coverage for both personal and commercial profiles. .
  • Myth # 3. Too often posting reduces coverage. .; In fact: The algorithm does not reduce the reach of users who fast frequently. However, if posts are posted in quick succession, Instagram is likely to dilute the feed with posts from other users.
  • Myth # 4. Stories and live broadcasts influence the coverage of posts. .; In fact: The social network does not mix metrics, so other formats on Instagram have no effect on the ranking of posts.
  • Myth # 5. The video gets priority in the feed. .; In fact: Certain types of content do not get priority in the feed, but the algorithm takes into account that the user watches more often (photos or videos) and gives him this type of content.

Instagram 2020: What's New in Algorithms?

Now I'll tell you what's new on Instagram right now. And in the next section of this article, we will summarize. You'll know what to do right now to win.

Coverage is more important than subscribers

Statistics show that the average ER for large accounts is lower than for medium and micro profiles. And as the account grows, it only falls. So the budget you used to devote to attracting new subscribers is worth redistributing in favor of coverage. This works both in targeting and in advertising for bloggers.

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On this screen, we can see that the ER (engagement) of an account with a multi-million audience is much lower than that of a millennial blogger.

Engagement is the most important metric for an account. It shows how engaged the audience is with the content. In fact, it is a reflection of the quality of the materials. Calculate the engagement of your audience by the formula:

ER = (likes + comments) / subscribers * 100%.

For example, you have 1,000 followers, and the last post received 90 likes and 10 comments. So ER = (90 + 10) / 1000 * 100% = 10%. Accordingly, to calculate the ER of the entire account, you need to add the ER for each post and divide it by the total number of posts. More often than not, not all posts are taken into account, but the last 10-20 or all posts in the last month.

But there is a simpler way to go. For example, service Popsters provides ER data for the selected reporting period.

And we have already discussed the mechanics of engagement in this article.

Hiding Likes

Testing of hiding likes, which began in 2019, will be extended to everyone. The number of likes under your post can still be seen in the statistics. They will also be displayed in reports of analytics services.

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Fighting Massfoloving and Masslooking

Grey methods of cheating, such as massfolding, masssliking, and massluking, continue to die. Instagram's developers have created machine-learning tools that find profiles used by services for scams. Since November 2019, Instagram has been cracking down on bots, and such accounts have a 24-hour lifespan before being deleted or blocked.

So forget about the grey schemes when promoting your account: likes and bot subscriptions won't do you any good or increase engagement.

More content

In 2020, Instagram is demanding more dedication. Bloggers and brands, which not only produce quality content, but also produce it regularly, are winning the battle for high reach. There is no optimal frequency of publication. It all depends on:

  • industry;
  • The target audience;
  • The quality of posts;
  • the amount of information you can provide.

To Love Instagram's Algorithm, Increase Coverage

It's simple. The more users you see your content, the more people you can interact with, and the more profit you end up making. For example, we updated our service in September.

To beat the competition and emerge victorious in the difficult battle for the hearts of the audience, you need to adhere to these rules:

Publish posts regularly

Frequently come across subscribers, appear in their feeds more often. But this should not come at the expense of content quality. Is it possible to publish every day? Great! Both the audience and algorithms will appreciate it.

At the same time, there is no need to fast for the sake of fasting: choose the optimal amount for yourself, compose a content plan, and think about the topics and formats of the posts.

We, for example, compile a content plan for 16 posts per month. They are divided into formats:

  • Wiki posts contain useful information about the direction of a client's business and are linked to one of its processes. There are 6 wiki posts per month.
  • Infos are posts tied to current events in a country, world, or a particular industry. There are six infomercials per month.
  • Advertisements contain information of a commercial nature about goods, services or promotions, special offers of the customer.

We publish 4 posts per week. This is the template of our content plan:

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If the posts themselves are interesting, look at this case as

Exploring the Audience

Understand what subscribers like. Long or short posts? Photo or video? Visual or text? Or all together? Feel free to ask them directly (in a story), write a separate post, analyze publications, and find out the best hours to post with Instagram analytics. Note that it is only available to business accounts.

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Communicate with subscribers

In order for the algorithm to consider that you are close enough to the audience, respond to comments in detail, like and comment on your subscribers "posts, and respond to messages in the Directive. Also, browse accounts similar to yours and engage in discussions there.