Instagram algorithm explained: How content becomes visible

What is the Instagram algorithm? 

In the early days of Instagram, content was played out chronologically. This means that Instagram users saw the images of accounts in the order in which the content was uploaded.

A few years ago, the chronological feed became the Instagram algorithm. The algorithm now decides in which order the content is played out in the user's feed. But not only in the personal feeds, also in the Explore section and in the hashtag search. And since Instagram is placing more and more emphasis on video content, also in the Reels feed.

Instagram introduced the algorithm to make the experience on the platform as pleasant as possible. After all, the more content available and the more accounts you follow, the harder it becomes to see all the content. 



How does the Instagram algorithm work

The Instagram algorithm consists of some rules that ensure the individual arrangement of the content for the users. Different points are analyzed, such as captions, hashtags or engagement numbers of images and videos. These are then compared with the interests and information of the users in order to display the content to the appropriate people.

Basically, three major factors influence the algorithm: First, the relationship between the followers and the account. For example, if they follow each other, regularly comment on the pictures or write direct messages, they are more likely to see the other person's new content. This makes community management enormously important and should not be neglected.

The second factor is relevance. The more current and up-to-date the content, the more often it will be played. There are new trends on a daily basis, so companies and accounts should not be afraid to participate in the trends themselves. As a general rule, new content is more likely to be displayed than older content. 

The third factor is the interests of the users. If Instagram users frequently respond with one type of content, i.e., like or comment, they will also see content on that topic more often.


Three tips for more visibility on Instagram

At first glance, the Instagram algorithm seems opaque and overwhelming. However, if you look into the background, you will quickly realize that the algorithm can be influenced with a little work. Therefore, we give three tips for more visibility on Instagram below.

1. Good storytelling in captions

Dwell time has a positive influence on the algorithm. That is, the more time followers spend with relevant content, the better it is. This can be done with good captions, for example. If you do good storytelling here and encourage followers to read the story, you can subsequently ensure more visibility.

2. Encourage commenting with interesting questions

The more followers interact with a type of post, the more frequently they receive similar content. Comments are one of the most important factors, as they are much more time-consuming than likes. Followers should therefore be encouraged to comment. For example, by asking interesting questions in the post, which can be answered in the comments.

3. Posting at the right time

Timeliness determines whether content is brand new or already outdated. Depending on the target group, the times when followers are active or not on Instagram differ. If you have a business account on Instagram, you can use Insights to see and analyze when your followers are most active. The content should be published accordingly at this time.


Conclusion: With the right tricks to more visibility on Instagram

The content and the number of accounts on Instagram are growing every day. Those who simply publish content and hope to be found through it usually have little success. However, if you understand the Instagram algorithm and follow some helpful tips, you can increase your visibility. 



About the author:

BASIC thinking is an online magazine and one of the widest-reaching tech portals in German-speaking countries. The editorial team posts daily on social media, marketing and business topics. This article was written by Christina Widner of BASIC thinking GmbH and BASIC thinking International

"A creative photo or video is enough to be seen on Instagram" - that's no longer the case. On Instagram, the algorithm decides whether content is played out and to whom. In this article, we explain what the Instagram algorithm is and give tips for more visibility.


Would you like to learn more about the stationery industry?

Expert knowledge, practical tips for retailers and the latest industry developments. Stay well informed at all times with the Insights-X newsletter.


I am interested as a: