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How does Instagram rank posts on your feed? We investigated the algorithm

I need some answers


Since Instagram changed its algorithm of the newsfeed so it's not chronological anymore, nothing has quite been the same. You get posts from three hours ago first, yesterday at the bottom and accidentally liking something that was posted one second ago is a regular occurrence. Instagram all of sudden has decided to rank absolutely everything we see on the app, like our story viewers and even the people who like our posts. But one simple thing I just need the answer to is – how does Instagram rank posts on your feed? How does the Instagram algorithm work and what factors decide who appears where on my newsfeed?

There are so many mysteries to Instagram and its algorithms, like how to find out how many people view your instas, how to find out who's unfollowed you, how to make your instas look like an old video recording or get that 90s filter or when the best time to post is. But, the algorithm is still the one that deceives us.

Here are the answers, finally.

Why did Instagram change the algorithm of the feed?

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Why is she first on my feed???

The idea behind the algorithm change was to make the most relevant content you care about appear first. Instagram users were missing up to 70 per cent of posts, and 50 per cent of their friends' posts when the feed was chronological – so Instagram bought in the changes to reduce these numbers.

Instagram now say that users see around 90 per cent of their friends' posts, and are spending more time on the app.

How does Instagram rank post on your feed?

There are three main factors that influence where a post will show up on your newsfeed.

• Interest: This is Instagram basically trying to guess what you care about. It bases it on how you engage with similar content.

• Recency: This means more recent posts should appear higher.

• Relationship: How close Instagram thinks you are with the person who posted. This is based on how much you mutually like and comment on each other's posts, and how often you tag each other in your posts or stories.

From this, a photo of the sort of thing you like a lot of, that's been posted recently, by someone you are close with should be top of your feed.

There are also three further factors influencing ranking. These are:

• Frequency: This is based on how often you open the app, the best posts since you were last active will be pushed to the top of the feed.

• Following: If you follow lots of people, there will be lots more posts for Instagram to choose between – so you might so less from each person.

• Usage: If you use Instagram less you'll see the best posts during short sessions, but if you spend longer online Instagram will find more posts for you.

So basically, when you open the app, your feed should be the newest and best posts from your friends first, posts from other people you follow after, and then posts of things you don't really care about or engage with pretty low down and last.

A typical feed is usually friends and family's posts first, then celebrities and people you might not know as well, and brands and companies and people you don't really care about last.

Instagram has also responded to rumours about "shadowbanning" – that users who post with hashtags or try to get engagements in other ways are pushed lower in the feed. This isn't a thing.

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How to stop losing followers on Instagram, by the people who unfollowed you