This Is How Instagram Ranks Your Pics, Videos On Feed: Instagram Algorithm Decoded!


Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit Kulkarni

Jun 13, 2023


Starting from a direct electronic information exchange to become a virtual gathering and now transforming into a retail platform, social media has come a long way.

This Is How Instagram Ranks Your Pics, Videos On Feed: Instagram Algorithm Decoded!

Social media has become an important, if not a central element of our day to day lives. While it all started with Facebook mainly, the social media space is now owned by Instagram and Tiktok, mainly as it enables people to express their creative sides through photos and videos.

Founded in 2010 by Stanford graduate Kevin Systrom as a photo-sharing site and purchased by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide. The average daily time spent on Instagram is 53 minutes. An average person spends 8 months of their lifetime on Instagram. Now, this kind of engagement for Instagram is driven from its “Explore” feed.

The Explore page on Instagram is a collection of content based on a user’s individual interests. The Instagram algorithm curates content based on similar accounts or content interacted with. The Explore page includes photos, videos, Reels and even Stories from the accounts that the person does not follow yet. 

Instagram curates the content on this page to the taste of each user, so no two Explore pages are alike. This grid generally includes a mix of posts covering a variety of interests, be it fashion, sports, cars, DIY, or sometimes, mindless memes.

Instagram users access the Explore page by tapping on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the app screen.

Now for many of it seems that the Explore feed is an extension of our preferences, however sometimes, the feed can offer something totally bizarre and out of context. To clarify these questions, Instagram is sharing more details on how it Explore feed algorithm works.

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, explains that the platform does not rely on a “singular algorithm” but considers various signals, such as your activity, information about the post, information about the person who posted, and your history of interacting with someone.

Instagram’s Explore Feed

According to Instagram, the Explore feed is influenced by several key factors, including likes, saves, and shares. If you share a particular type of post with a friend, it increases the likelihood of seeing similar content. Additionally, Instagram takes into account the posts that capture your immediate attention when you open the Explore feed. For example, if you quickly engage with fashion-related content, similar posts will appear more prominently and frequently.

The platform emphasizes the importance of post popularity in the Explore feed, considering signals such as the speed and quantity of likes, comments, shares, and saves. These signals carry more weight in the Explore feed compared to the regular feed or Stories.

Furthermore, if you have a history of viewing a particular user’s profile, you are more likely to see their posts in the Explore feed, even if you don’t follow them. Instagram explains that while historical data helps the algorithm understand your interactions, recent signals, such as recent interactions with a user, play a significant role in creating a personalized feed.

Instagram Working on Offensive Posts Visibility in Explore Feed

However, Instagram, owned by Meta, acknowledges its ongoing efforts to minimize the visibility of offensive posts in the Explore feed. If a friend you follow shares something offensive and it appears in your feed, Instagram will still display those posts. Nevertheless, the platform provides options to unfollow, block, mute, hide, or report posts if users feel uncomfortable with certain content.

Moreover, Instagram aims to be more transparent about the visibility of users’ posts. The platform addresses concerns about “shadowbanning” by introducing features like Account Status, which helps users understand why their content may not be eligible for recommendation. This enables users to delete problematic content or appeal the decision if they believe Instagram has made an error.


Rohit Kulkarni
Rohit Kulkarni
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