Instagram Algorithm: The 7 Key Factors that Influence Your Instagram Feeds

Instagram Algorithm


Have you ever wondered how Instagram feeds works? This question has confused even the bests of coding experts. Moreover, it has been a real concern for social marketers who wants to make the best of this social media giant for business growth.

This is because of the complex structure of the Instagram algorithm. It has been upgraded consistently ever since it was introduced in 2016. Whenever a user browses on Instagram, he tends to see the most relevant content based on the choices of material he was engaged in the past. This is dictated by some vital factors that influence your Instagram feeds.

The article covers seven key factors that influence the ranking of content in your Instagram feeds.

More Engagement Leads to Higher Ranking in the Feeds

Engagement stat on Instagram

Source: business2community

You might have noticed that there are Instagram accounts that more frequently shows on your feeds. The fact that these accounts are generating quality content & engagement on their accounts, Instagram Algorithm proactively mentions them on your feed, assuming that you might also like it.

Although engagement does play an important role in influencing the Instagram algorithm, in some cases, it is also about how quickly a post receives its engagement. This is more understandable if you consider the example of Instagram Hashtags. It's a big deal to be featured on Instagram Hashtags. It creates a network effect that makes your post go viral.

This is one of the reasons why you must pick a time to post on Instagram when more people are likely to see it. It significantly increases your chances of getting more likes, which results in boosting your post in the algorithm.

Time Spent by a Viewer on a Post

There is a considerable similarity between the working schematics of Instagram and Facebook algorithms. Just like Facebook, Instagram also considers the time spent by a viewer on a particular post. Based on this time factor, the Instagram algorithm evaluates and boosts your posts accordingly.

But how to make a user spent more time on your posts? Well, one sure-short way to do achieve this goal is to take a reasonable time in composing an Instagram caption. A viewer is more likely to read your caption if it is engaging, and it may also lead him/her to click on 'more,' thus increasing the overall time spent on your post.

This is one of the reasons why videos and boomerangs perform well on Instagram. As it takes more time to watch them, the Instagram algorithm ranks them accordingly. Slide show post with a ‘call to action’ option is one good way to do so.   

The Accounts You Regularly Interact with

You might think that the Instagram algorithm is a tough nut to crack when it comes to driving more engagement. The fact that it is so well-written, it possesses some sophisticated features as well. This is why when you engage with a particular Instagram account regularly, you are implying that you find the content of that account very engaging. And thus, it shows you more of that person’s feed, even when he only has few Instagram followers and limited content posted on his account.

The same goes for the people who like your content. If they regularly like your photo, comment on it, your posts are more likely to be shown on their feeds.

When you post content on Instagram

Instagram profile


Time plays a vital role in your posts to get maximum exposure to the viewers. However, this isn't always the case. Apart from the recently published posts in your feed, it also includes posts that are a few days old. It all depends on how frequently you browse Instagram. If you are only active a few times a week, you will also see posts that are a few days old. Instagram entertains this feature to ensure that you catch up on everything.

It also means that your Instagram posts have a longer half-life, and more viewers can see your posts for a longer time than it used to. This is why you still getting likes on a photo that you posted a few days ago.   

The type of content you like

Type of contents on Instagram


If it was all about the engagement that mattered, then you won't be able to see different kinds of content on your Instagram feeds. This is why the 'genre' or the kind of content plays a crucial role in what particular content you see on your feeds.

Have you ever thought of why Instagram is showing you the same kind of content in your feed? If you are interested in a sport like a football and engaged with Instagram accounts with similar content, you are more like to get feeds related to football. This relevancy factor plays an essential role in influencing the Instagram Algorithm.

The Type of Instagram Accounts you search for

Now, it might sound insignificant at first, but it is one of the key factors that significantly impact the Instagram algorithm. The account that you search for is also taken into consideration by the Instagram algorithm. When you search for a particular account on Instagram, it takes it as a hint that you like the content offered by that account. This is why you see more of their content in your Instagram feed. 

Sharing of Instagram Posts in the DM

When it comes to influencing the complex character of the Instagram algorithm, the posts that you share in the form of direct messages also serve a great value. Although there is probably no way to know how many times your posts are shared as DMs with someone, Instagram keeps track of it nonetheless.  

If you are creating quality content that people like sharing with other people, your posts could perform well in the Instagram algorithm.


There is no denying that Instagram feeds are one of the complicated things to understand and decode. Although this article covers some of the essential factors that influence your Instagram feeds, several other points dictate its working on a certain level.