Photo and video sharing platform Instagram has released details on the ranking factors for feeds, stories, reels and its ‘Explore’ page.
Back in 2021, the social media giant shared an in-depth insight into the different factors it uses when ranking content in a user’s feed. Now, however, it has released some brief summaries of these factors, making it much easier to understand for the average user.
Feeds and stories
First up is the ranking for feeds and stories. For both of these, ranking factors are considered in the same order, which is (from top to bottom): information about the post itself, information about the creator of the post, the user’s activity, and the user’s interaction history.
Instagram broke down what these actually mean last year:
Information about the post: this relates to signals that indicate both how popular the piece of content is (using data like how many likes it has) and data about the post itself, such as when it was posted, what location it’s been tagged in and its duration, if the post is a video.
Information about the post creator: with this, information such as how many times a user has interacted with the creator recently is taken into consideration. Essentially, Instagram uses this factor to determine how relevant and interesting an individual user would find the creator.
User’s activity: Instagram takes into consideration how many posts a user has liked, for example, and other activity they have taken part in.
User’s interaction history: the app uses this to gain a sense of the level of interest a user has in a particular creator’s posts. For example, if a user comments a lot on the posts of a certain creator, and vice versa, this indicates a level of interest.
When it comes to Reels – Meta’s short-form videos that are its own version of TikTok – the same ranking factors as stories and reels are taken into consideration, but in a different order. For reels, the factors are ordered as: a user’s activity, their interaction history, information about the post itself and then, finally, information about the post creator.
While these factors are the same as stories and feed post ranking, there are some slight differences in what data Instagram uses for each. Naturally, the data relates more specifically to Reels – so a user’s activity is limited to Reels alone, for example.
Instagram also released its ranking factor overview for Explore, which, again, uses the same factors, but reordered slightly:
✨ Explore ✨
Instagram is the place to discover new creators, businesses and communities. Explore is populated by what you enjoy seeing, based on your interaction history and activity. pic.twitter.com/l04xMtqst4
— Instagram (@instagram) February 17, 2022
Bearing these factors in mind when creating and publishing content to Instagram could help to maximise its performance and increase your brand awareness and reach. If you need help reaching more people online, we’d be happy to help here at Engage Web – just get in touch!
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