Instagram story algorithm

Explained: Exactly how the Instagram Story algorithm works in 2021

This makes so much sense

Instagram algorithms are tricky business. Back in the day, everything felt simple. Posts were structured in a chronological way from newest to oldest, and you could merrily scroll through your main feed until you were caught up with all your mates selfies, pre drinks group shots and tedious pictures of meals you couldn’t give less of a crap about. In the evolution of the app, the way the feed was structured has changed – and with the introduction of Instagram Stories a new kind of algorithm came about. Ever wondered why the person you were trying your very hardest to not think about magically managed to be showing first on Stories every time you open up Instagram? Well, this is exactly how the Instagram Story algorithm is working in 2021.

Interactions and engagement matter

There’s a reason the person who pop up at the far left start of the screen is never some random girl you once sat next to in GCSE biology eight years ago – the algorithm is trained to prioritise who Instagram clocks you engaging with the most. This can be engagement of all kinds, whether that be likes, comments, DMs, tagging in photos, sharing their posts or saving photos.

If you want to make sure your Stories stay at the top, post frequently throughout the day. That way, the Instagram Story algorithm will keep moving you up and if you just post in one batch you’ll slip back down the line.

What about when you check who’s viewed your Story?

Despite rumours that Instagram ranks your Story viewers higher if they go on your profile more or watch your Stories multiple times, according to Julian Gutman from Instagram that’s not actually the case. The algorithm for Instagram Story viewers is based on who the app assumes you are closest to according to your activity.

The activity can literally be anything – who you’re swiping up on, who you’re searching and of course who you are liking and commenting on. Insta uses all that data to try and guess who you care about the most and therefore updates you on their activity too accordingly. So now you know

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