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Instagram’s 2021 Algorithm and How it’s Designed to Help You Grow

3 minutes read

Instagram has grown into one of the best and biggest social media networks where you can connect with anyone on the platform through pictures you take and upload on the network. Since it is primarily accessed through your mobile device, scrolling through Instagram and seeing the thousands of posts uploaded each second is just a few clicks away. Traditionally, the biggest accounts on Instagram are owned by celebrities, models, or business people who already have huge followings before they jumped on the platform. And, most assume that their fame only carried over to Instagram. However, this is far from the truth. Even the biggest and most popular accounts started from scratch, and their eventual rise to where they are was greatly aided by Instagram’s algorithm.


What Is the Instagram Algorithm?

The seasoned Instagram user knows that the Instagram algorithm has changed several times since it was first introduced into the social media network. From an outsider's standpoint, the algorithm works in a very mysterious way. However, if you know its ins and outs, you can tailor your content to make full use of this algorithm and boost each post you make. Six key factors influence the algorithm and arrange the content on your feed, stories, Reels, and IGTV. These are your interest, relationships, timelessness, frequency, following, and usage. These relate to how the users spend their time on the platform, and all these will be the factors that will decide which posts to prioritize and show to the user first. This means that if you manage to stay relevant on all these factors, you can guarantee that your posts will always be seen by your target audience every time they open the application.

How Do You Beat Instagram’s 2021 Algorithm?

If you want to beat Instagram's 2021 algorithm, the best way to do it is by optimizing your photos and captions to target your main demographic's interest. This includes driving up your post's engagement by only posting on time with the biggest traffic and increasing organic interactions with other users through likes, comments, DMs, saves, and shares as much as possible.


How Does Instagram’s 2021 Algorithm Work?

In 2021, the algorithm isn't just limited to prioritized posts when it decides which ones to show to the users. Aside from the algorithm for feed posts, it also has an algorithm that decides which stories to show first and which posts reach the top of the explore page each time you open the application. This may seem like a lot of things to keep track of, but the only thing you need to remember is all of these rely on how much interaction you can pull from your followers each time you post. This means that as long as you tailor your posts and stories to meet the trends and your follower’s interests, then you are guaranteed to beat the make full use of the new Instagram algorithm.


How Do You Grow on Instagram in 2021?

Growing your Instagram presence is so much easier now compared to before. Not only are there more followers that use the platform daily, but there are also several strategic tips and tricks that you can use. Among these are using the new Instagram Reels, Optimizing your profile for searches, creating an IGTV Series, being more diverse and inclusive, create authentic and sharable content, work with micro-influencers, write longer captions, use Instagram live, share relatable memes, introduce a branded hashtag, and create custom filters. However, a few of the most effective ones are collaborating with other brands, creating challenges and games, and working with micro-influencers. As long as you have the creativity, growing your following on Instagram is a guarantee.

When Should I Post on Instagram in 2021?

There are no rules when posting content on Instagram in 2021. The algorithm will eventually work in your favor as long as you continuously drive enough interactions towards your content. But, it is always a good idea to know which times are getting the most traffic on Instagram. Several analyses have recorded the amount of traffic that Instagram sees at any given time, and most of these have reached a similar conclusion. They show that it is best to post content around 11:00 am on a Wednesday as this hour consistently has the most number of users on the application. This is closely followed by 10:00 am on Fridays.

Instagram Algorithm for Story Views

Typically, the stories that users see first are from accounts that you have the most engagement with. This means that if you want to make full use of the algorithm and pull views towards your stories, you need to interact with your followers more. This algorithm also considers timeliness, and this means that posting often will help you appear first on your follower's accounts. However, it would help if you still remembered too many stories could be annoying for other people. Regardless, the more views you have, the better your consistent ranking will be. And, the more people will see your posts and interact with your content.

Instagram Algorithm for the Explore Page

The explore page typically shows content from accounts that the users do not follow. This means that it is the best place to discover posts from other people and accounts that may match your interests based on your previous interactions. This is a consistently evolving page, and different search features are added all the time. To make full use of this algorithm when growing your follower count, optimizing your content to match people's interests from different demographics is the way to go.


Instagram Algorithm for IGTV Videos and Reels

The content that Instagram shows its users on this feature is also based on the users' interactions and interests. Instagram also bases the featured videos on IGTV and Reels on what Instagram thinks you will like. This means that if you can make content that can pull a huge amount of initial exposure, this will provide Instagram with a positive signal to boost your post up the ladder and help you reach more people for your next posts.

Instagram Algorithm for Hashtag

When writing the caption for any of your posts, the most tried and tested method of boosting its reach is by using relevant hashtags that many people would be interested in enough to click. These hashtags typically target certain keywords that other users use when searching for things they like. Other than the visual content and the words on the caption, the algorithm also takes these tags into account when calculating their relevance and deciding whether or not to push your content up towards more users at any given time. To optimize these hashtags, always include a few relevant tags into your posts to help them reach a wider audience. These little hashtags will eventually be the key to growing your follower count and ultimately help you thrive on the platform.


Instagram Algorithm for People Who Search for You

As stated earlier, Instagram’s algorithm takes six things into consideration. These are interest, relationships, timelessness, frequency, following, and usage. Each time you are searched for by a user, their interests start matching your content and eventually, your content will be prioritized for their feed, explore page, and stories. In time, this will also reach their own followers based on the relationships and following factors that the algorithm considers.


Other Ways to Improve Your Ranking Using the Instagram Algorithm

Other than the tried and tested method of increasing your interactions with your followers and other Instagram users, there are a few other ways for you to improve your ranking through the algorithm.

  1. Optimize hashtags. As stated earlier, hashtags have proven to be among the best ways to reach other people through searches. Among the best ways to do this is by using the suggested hashtags that Instagram has, all of which are the most relevant ones at any given time.
  2. Promote your content. Cross promoting your content through stories, IGTV, Reels and feed is a great way to pull people's interests. This is a reliable method to boost your ranking without too much effort.
  3. Encourage interactions through Instagram stories stickers. There are hundreds of amazing stickers available, but the poll, emoji sliders, and question stickers are among the best. These stickers guarantee engagement from other users and improve your rank significantly.
  4. Use Instagram’s latest features. Instagram always introduces new features, and getting on top of them and utilizing them as soon as they come out is a great way to give yourself an extra boost.
  5. Start conversations through captions and comments. This is the best way to improve your ranking on the algorithm. Not only will it catch the interest of other users, but an engaging discussion can ensure that the users will interact with your content repeatedly.

Instagram’s updated 2021 algorithm may seem complicated at first, but the main idea behind it remains the same. Despite the changes in the algorithm, it still prioritizes and nurtures the accounts that have the most interaction. And, understanding these changes will effectively boost your chances of growing on the platform. Growing on Instagram may seem like a challenge, especially at the start, but with the 2021 algorithm, you can rest assured that all the odds are stacked in your favor. Just remember that Instagram is a combination of creativity, promotion, and focusing on the right people, and you're guaranteed to grow. Good luck!


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