An algorithm is a “set of steps that are followed in order to solve a mathematical problem or to complete a computer process.” When talking about a social media algorithm, we’re referring to the process that a social media site goes through to show your content.

What is the Instagram Algorithm?

The code behind the site works to show you content in a certain way that the makers of the site think is best. So when photos and videos appear in your Instagram feed, it is because of their algorithm.

Instagram’s algorithm works by showing you posts that it thinks are most relevant to you. So if you like a profile’s posts and comment on them, their posts will be at the top of your feed. So instead of showing you posts in chronological order, you will see posts that Instagram’s algorithm thinks you would like. Even if the post is a few hours old or from the day before.

Instagram used to show posts in chronological order, but has recently changed to using an algorithm based on relevancy. But this change has not come without controversy. Many businesses and Instagram personalities prefer chronological order, as bigger and more popular profiles are not given preferential treatment. Whereas with the algorithm, they are most likely to be at the top of user feeds.

So with Instagram using their latest algorithm, engagement is the metric you need to pay the most attention to. It’s the same with Twitter, who also changed from chronological to algorithmic sorting. And of you can’t get the engagement you want, you can use Advertising on Instagram to boost your reach.

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Read more:
  1. What is the Facebook Algorithm?
  2. What is Twitter’s Algorithm?
  3. What should I post on Instagram?

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Author

Thomas Kowalski

Content Marketer

Psychologist, marketer, and English teacher & proofreader who is an avid fan of good music and time spent with friends.