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Unlock the Secrets of Instagram's Algorithm with this Updated Guide

Published on: November 20 2023 by Modern Millie

Unlock the Secrets of Instagram's Algorithm with this Updated Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the Instagram Algorithm
    • The Concept of the Algorithm
    • Different Algorithms for Different Sections of the App
    • The Ever-Changing Nature of the Algorithm
  3. The Feed Algorithm
    • Following, Favorite, and Default Feed Views
    • Signals Used by the Algorithm
    • Importance of User Activity and Post Information
  4. The Stories Algorithm
    • Importance of Viewing and Engagement History
    • Signals Used for Ranking Stories
    • Factors Considered for Story Recommendations
  5. The Explore Algorithm
    • Purpose of the Explore Grid
    • Signals Used to Find Relevant Content
    • Importance of Post Information and User Engagement
  6. The Reels Algorithm
    • Focus on Entertainment and Discovery
    • Predictions Made by the Algorithm
    • Factors Considered for Ranking Reels
  7. Key Differences in the 2023 Algorithm
    • Separate Algorithms for Feed and Stories
    • Increased Transparency in Predictions
    • Changes in the Approach to Shadow Banning
  8. Conclusion

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm in 2023


In this article, we will delve into the intricate workings of the Instagram algorithm and how it impacts your experience on the platform. Instagram, a social media giant, has revolutionized the way we connect and engage with content. However, understanding the algorithm behind the app can be a daunting task. Fear not, as we break down the algorithm step by step and highlight the key differences between the 2021 and 2023 versions.

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

To grasp the concept of the algorithm, it is crucial to understand that Instagram does not have a singular algorithm governing the entire app. Instead, different algorithms are employed for various sections like the feed, stories, explore, and reels. Each algorithm is tailored to the specific user interactions within that feature. This means that your unique algorithm is constantly evolving, adapting to your preferences and behavior on the platform.

The Feed Algorithm

When it comes to your feed, Instagram offers three different views: following, favorite, and default. The following feed displays the most recent posts in chronological order from the accounts you follow. The favorite feed shows the latest content from accounts you have designated as your favorites. The default feed is the main view upon opening the app and is curated by the algorithm to suggest posts it believes you will like based on various factors.

The algorithm relies on an array of signals to determine the content that appears in your feed. These signals include your activity, post information, the person who made the post, and your history of interactions with individuals. By analyzing these signals, Instagram predicts your likelihood of engaging with a post. Factors such as the time a post was shared, the content itself, and engagement metrics like likes, comments, and saves play a role in determining the post's ranking in your feed.

The Stories Algorithm

Stories on Instagram offer a unique way to share fleeting moments and connect with others. The algorithm for stories focuses on signals related to your viewing history, engagement history, and closeness to the creator. By examining how often you view specific accounts' stories and engage with them, Instagram prioritizes stories it believes you wouldn't want to miss. The algorithm predicts your likelihood of tapping into a story, replying to it, or simply skipping to the next one.

The Explore Algorithm

Instagram's explore feature aims to help you discover new content tailored to your interests. The explore grid, comprising recommendations from accounts you don't follow, relies on specific signals to curate content. These signals encompass information about the post, your activity in the explore section, your history of interacting with the person who posted, and information about the person who made the post. Engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, comments, and saves, indicate the popularity of a post and influence its ranking in your explore feed.

The Reels Algorithm

Reels, designed for entertainment and discovery, presents a unique algorithmic experience. Similar to the explore algorithm, reels are sourced from accounts you don't follow. The algorithm predicts your likelihood of engaging with a reel based on signals like your activity, history of interaction with the person who posted, information about the reel, and information about the person who made it. Whether you are expected to reshare a reel, watch it completely, like it, or explore the associated audio plays an essential role in its ranking.

Key Differences in the 2023 Algorithm

Compared to the 2021 version, the most recent blog post by Instagram highlights a few key differences in the algorithm. Firstly, the feed and stories algorithms have been separated, providing more tailored experiences for each. Secondly, Instagram has become more transparent about the predictions it makes for each feature. It now openly discusses the actions it expects users to take, such as tapping into an audio track or replying to a story. Lastly, there has been a notable shift in how Instagram addresses shadow banning, indicating a commitment to transparency and helping users understand why their content may not receive the desired reach.


Understanding the Instagram algorithm is crucial for content creators, marketers, and anyone seeking to make the most of their experience on the platform. While the algorithm continuously evolves, the principles and factors influencing its workings remain relatively consistent. By comprehending the nuances of the feed, stories, explore, and reels algorithms, you can navigate Instagram with greater insight and optimize your content for increased visibility and engagement. Stay informed, adapt to the changes, and embrace the power of the Instagram algorithm to connect with your audience and share your passion with the world.

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