May 31, 2023
We know that having Instagram recommend your content is a great way to reach new fans and grow your audience. That’s why it’s important that we explain how ranking works, share our Recommendation Guidelines, and give you ways to easily find out if something you’ve posted or have on your profile may be impacting your reach. Read through the tips below to see how the new information we’ve shared on ranking can help maximize your reach.
Instagram Ranking Explained
Instagram doesn’t have a singular algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t see on the app. Each part of the app – Feed, Stories, Explore, Reels, and more – uses its own algorithm, tailored to how people use it.
- Feed is your personalized home base within Instagram to help you catch up with friends, family, and interests. This means your fans’ feeds will have a mix of content from the accounts they’ve chosen to follow, recommended content from accounts we think they’ll enjoy, and ads. They’ll also see a mixture of videos, photos, and carousels.
- Stories are a way to share everyday moments and grow closer to the people and interests you care about. The stories your fans see are from people they’ve chosen to follow, as well as ads.
- Explore was designed to help you discover new content and creators. The grid is primarily made up of recommendations – photos and videos that we go out and find for your fans from accounts they don’t yet follow.
- Reels is also designed to help you discover new things, with an emphasis on entertainment. Much like Explore, the majority of what you see is from accounts you don’t follow. We first source reels we think you might like and order them based on how interesting we think they are to you.
By understanding how ranking and recommendations work on Instagram, it’s easier to find actionable ways to improve your reach. Learn more at about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/instagram-ranking-explained/
How Instagram Recommendations Work
Let’s discuss how ranking affects recommendations. We look at a number of signals to personalize recommendations, such as how many and how quickly other people are liking, commenting, sharing and saving a post; a person’s interaction history with the person who posted; other posts a person has liked or commented on; and more. This all works together to power our recommendation system and help us get your content or account in front of the people who are most likely to join your community or become your next biggest fan.
Tips for Improving Your Reach
- ✅ Create engaging content. This includes content you created yourself or content that hasn’t been posted on Instagram before. There are a variety of formats for you to consider when making content: video, photos, and text. . However you want to create, we have a format for you. Pro tip: Keep your reels short. In order to be recommended, they must be 90 seconds or less.
- ✅ Collaborate with other creators. If you’re working with another creator, use our Collabs feature to create a single post that is shared to both of your followers or use Enhanced Tags to include their public and self-identified profile category. These posts can be recommended in places like the Reels tab, Explore, and Feed.
- ✅ Get discovered via Search. Followers and non-followers can find you when they search for things on Instagram. Making sure you include relevant keywords in your content, your caption, your bio, and your hashtags.
- ✅ Use the Favorites feature. We’ve added features and controls like Close Friends, Favorites and Following so fans can further customize their experience. Encourage your top fans to add you to their Favorites - that way, your content will show up higher in their feeds.
- ✅ Monitor your insights. Check your insights to monitor trends and content performance. Within insights, you can break down Accounts Reached by followers and non-followers so you can see how much of your reach is coming from people who don’t already follow you—and track that over time by changing the time frame selected. Look for patterns and keep tabs on which pieces of content are getting more reach to help inform your content strategy.
- ✅ Check your Account Status. See if your account or your account’s content is eligible to be recommended to non-followers in Account Status. If you see that you’re not eligible to be recommended, you can understand which content or components of your profile may violate Community Guidelines or Recommendation Guidelines. Then you can fix it by editing or deleting content; or request our review team take another look.
- ✅ Post original content, avoid reposted content. As we recommend more content on Instagram, it’s important the credit, distribution, growth, and monetization go to the original creator, and we’re continuing to work towards this. We’re less likely to recommend reposts of a reel that’s already on Instagram, content with noticeable watermarks, or accounts that regularly collect and reshare others’ content on their feed. Pro tip: Use the Remix tool instead to add your own spin to a popular reel.
For more details on recommendations and tips for improving your reach, download our latest recommendations handbook.
How to Stay Recommendable
Follow our Recommendation Guidelines and Community Guidelines. Content that goes against our Recommendation Guidelines can still be distributed to your followers in Feed and Stories, but we try not to recommend it to non-followers in Explore, Search, Reels, and any other places where we recommend content. While Recommendation Guidelines only govern what we avoid recommending to non-followers, our Community Guidelines apply to all content on Instagram. We remove content that violates our Community Guidelines, and repeatedly posting this kind of content can result in your entire account being disabled.