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How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work in 2020?

Gaining popularity and growing your reach on Instagram takes time, dedication, skill, and a little bit of luck. Along with creating a brand and quality content backed by a strong strategy, you need to wrangle with the Instagram algorithm.

While in a perfect world, you could follow a step-by-step playbook to master the algorithm, there are teams like us at Gramiety that have spent years learning it. 2020 is set to be a big year for social growth, so to fill you in, here’s the latest information we know about the Instagram algorithm in 2020.

The Factors That Matter the Most

Since the days of the chronological feed are seemingly never coming back, if you want to ensure that your post is seen by your followers and doesn’t end up at the bottom, you need to focus on these Instagram-recommended areas:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Frequency
  • Relationship
  • Following
  • Usage

There’s a bit more to it than just these six metrics, however, as they’re all working together. That means that just because someone follows an account, it doesn’t necessarily always mean that account’s posts will appear in their feed. They might be highly interested in watches at the moment, so instead of showing posts from the smoothie shop they follow, the algorithm will show the user more watch content.

Predicting this is difficult since we’re all different, but understanding how these six metrics work together is key to creating engaging content and ensuring that content appears in as many feeds as possible.

Instagram s Four Metrics for Engagement

In an Instagram post of their own, Instagram let the world know the four engagements most important for feed ranking: Comments, Likes, Reshares, and Views. Using these engagement measures, Instagram can then predict how interested people will be in a post. If you can plan your posts to be as engaging as possible, you can tilt the algorithm in your favor, and increase your social growth.

In addition, saves are becoming just as important as ever, now that Instagram is testing hidden likes in more and more countries. Making evergreen content that people will want to see again and again is key to cementing your place in their feeds.

Photos and Videos Are Treated the Same

It’s easy to assume that videos are naturally more engaging than images, but Instagram says that it treats both the same. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have a mix of the two on your profile, but you shouldn’t stress too much about the format of your posts but rather the content and how often you’re posting. If you were so worried about crafting the perfect video that your feed went quiet for a few days, you’re doing more harm than good since you could have been posting photos that whole time.

It s All About Who Your Followers Know

Relationships are essential for the feed, and Instagram will display certain posts based on the relationships your followers have with others. It can sound a little scary, but one of the software engineers at Instagram shared a peek behind the curtain when it comes to relationships.

Essentially, he states that Instagram could absolutely figure out who you like and care about the most based on the content you like, your DMs, searches, and people you know in real life. With this data, Instagram delivers a more personal approach, and if your follower really loves your content, chances are their best friend sees it in their feed too.

The Explore Page is an Entirely Different Animal

For many accounts, appearing on the Explore page of Instagram is the goal. You have the potential to bring in thousands of new followers that stumble upon you because of a captivating thumbnail. The thing is, it operates under a different algorithm altogether, and is personalized to every user.

However, with engaging content and super relevant hashtags, getting on the Explore page isn’t quite rocket science. For best results, stay in your lane and focus on the other tips in this article and the Explore page will follow shortly after users start engaging with your content.

All Account Types Are the Same

Whether you’re a business, verified, or personal account, Instagram treats all of your interactions the same. That helps to level the playing field and really puts the power into the hands of the everyday users on the platform. So, if you were thinking of using a business profile but were worried about how it might affect your engagement, don’t be!

Bots Won t Work Anymore (If They Ever Did)

It should probably go without saying across everywhere online, but spam accounts or engagement-driving bots don’t work quite as well as they used to (if they ever did in the first place). So, if you’re wanting to boost your engagement the fast way, you’ll need to try something else. Rather than paying for a specific number of likes, focus on growing your organic audience by working with a professional social media growth agency. The results might not be as immediate, but they last much longer.

The Algorithm is Changing Constantly

There isn’t an update every few weeks or even days—the Instagram algorithm is in a constant state of flux. This all depends on user trends, and the changes happen in real time. The algorithm is powered by machine learning, so it’s hard to predict where it goes. The best thing that creators can do is stay up to date on the trends their audience is engaging with and create content to match.

Conclusion

Building a huge following on Instagram requires tons of research, diligence, and a strong strategy that targets your audience directly. Although it can feel like a guessing game, if you have a strong understanding of how the Instagram algorithm works and know what makes great content, it’s possible for anyone to get over the 10K follower mark.

At Gramiety, we help individuals and brands grow their reach using proven strategies and techniques. Want to see what we can do for you? Learn more about our services at www.gramiety.com