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May 6, 2024

How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2023

Instagram Stock image with likes sticker

Instagram Algorithm

When Instagram first appeared on the scene, it was simple: people posted photos, and those photos appeared chronologically on their followers’ feeds. Fast forward to 2023, and things have changed a lot. Now, when you open Instagram, the photos and videos you see are curated just for you, thanks to a complex algorithm. If you’ve ever wondered why some posts gather a lot of attention while others seem to get lost in the mix, the answer lies in the Instagram algorithm. For those who use Instagram, whether just for fun or for business, knowing how this algorithm works is essential. It helps you understand what kind of content reaches more people and how to best share your own stories and ideas.

The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that decides which posts you see first in your feeds. Insta algorithm uses a combination of algorithms, classifiers, and, processes to figure out to show the most relevant content for each users interest. It considers various signals such as:

  • User Activity
  • Post Information
  • Post’s Popularity
  • Interaction history of the content
  • Information about the content creator
  • User’s Interested Topics
  • How often user interacted with the creator

The algorithm guesses which posts you might like, save, or share. It puts the most fitting posts at the very top of your feed so you see them first. In each section of Instagram has an unique algorithm. For example, the Instagram Reels algorithm works similarly to the Explore page.

Feed algorithm: Users activity in-feed (likes, comments, shares, and saves), and info about the post and the person who posted.
Explore page algorithm: Your activity in Explore (likes, comments, and shares), and info about the post and the person who posted.
Stories algorithm: Stories you’ve viewed or engaged with in the past.
Reels algorithm: Your activity in Reels (likes, comments, shares, and saves), and info about the Reel and the person who posted.

Also, Read – How to Use Instagram Stories for your Business

Prioritizing Personal Connections

In 2023, Instagram is all about making the app feel more personal. This means that the posts from your closest friends, family, or accounts you interact with a lot get top spots on your feed. Have you ever noticed that some friends’ posts always seem to be up there? That’s the algorithm at work.

Instagram has a feature called “Close Friends.” When someone adds you to their “Close Friends” list, it tells the algorithm that you’re important to them. As a result, you’ll see more of their content, and they’ll see more of yours. But it’s not just about being on a close friends list. If you often like, comment on, or share someone’s posts, Instagram will catch on and show you more about that person. In short, the more you engage with someone, the more their content pops up for you. It’s Instagram’s way of keeping things cozy and connected.

Video Content Reigns Supreme

Instagram isn’t just about photos anymore. With the introduction and growth of features like Reels, video content has become a massive part of the platform. Videos, especially ones that get a lot of views or shares, tend to do well with the algorithm.

When you scroll through your feed or explore page, you’ll notice that videos, especially Reels, pop up quite often. That’s because Instagram loves them! The more engaging a video is, the more people it reaches. If you’ve thought about making a video or trying out Reels, now’s the time. They’re not only fun but also a smart way to reach more people on the platform. 

Emphasis on Authentic Engagement

Instagram is like a big community, and just like in any community, real connections matter. The app has realized that some people were trying to cheat the system. They used bots to like posts or leave comments. But guess what? Instagram got smart about it. The platform now values genuine interactions over anything that seems fake.

So, this means if you’re trying to grow your presence on Instagram, real conversations are the way to go. Respond to comments, engage with other people’s content, and build real relationships. Simply put, the more genuine your interactions, the more love you’ll get from the algorithm. So, it’s better to have ten real comments than 100 bot-generated ones. Remember, it’s quality over quantity.

The Importance of Reels and Instagram Live

In today’s digital world, staying connected and engaging with your audience is essential. That’s where Instagram Reels and Instagram Live come into play.

Instagram Reels:

  • Short, snappy videos that capture attention in seconds.
  • Perfect for showcasing your creativity, products, and services.
  • Boost your visibility on Instagram’s Explore page.
  • A fun way to connect with your followers through trends and challenges.

Instagram Live:

  • Instant, real-time interaction with your audience.
  • Ideal for Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and product launches.
  • Increases engagement with notifications to your followers.
  • Builds a deeper, more authentic connection with your community.

Both Reels and Live are valuable tools for boosting your presence, building a loyal following, and staying ahead in the social media game.

The Role of Saved Posts and Collections

Have you ever seen a post you love and want to come back to later? That’s where the save feature comes in. And it turns out this little button is more powerful than you might think. When someone saves your post, it tells Instagram that your content is valuable. Think about it: out of all the posts, someone chose to save yours.

But there’s more. Users can organize their saved posts into collections. It’s like having a little scrapbook on Instagram. So, when you create content, think about what might be save-worthy. Maybe it’s a helpful tip, a beautiful image, or a product someone might want to buy later. The more saves you get, the more the algorithm recognizes your content as valuable.

Shopping and E-commerce Integration

Shopping on Instagram isn’t a new thing, but it’s getting bigger and bigger. Those little shopping bag icons you see on posts? They allow users to buy products without even leaving the app. And guess what? Instagram’s algorithm is totally on board.

Brands that use the shopping feature have noticed their products reaching more people. It’s a win-win. Users get a smooth shopping experience, and businesses get more visibility. If you’re a business or creator with something to sell, using the Instagram shopping features can be a game-changer. It’s like having a shop window right in the app.

Adaptability to User Behavior

Instagram is always watching and learning, not in a creepy way, but in a way that helps them understand what users want. If people start loving a new feature or uniquely using the app, Instagram takes note. The algorithm then changes and adapts. That’s why it’s always evolving. It’s not random but based on how real people use the app. This adaptability ensures that users keep coming back and enjoying their time on the platform.

Stock Photos: A Valuable Tool in Content Creation

Instagram’s algorithm in 2023 recognizes the diverse range of content being posted, and stock photos are no exception. When paired with engaging captions, relevant hashtags, and consistent user engagement practices, stock photos can achieve significant reach and engagement. It’s all about how they are integrated into the broader content strategy.


Instagram in 2023 is quite different from when it first started. From giving importance to real interactions and emphasizing video content to making shopping easy, the platform has grown and changed a lot. By understanding these changes and how the algorithm works, users, creators, and businesses can make the most of their Instagram 

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