The Instagram Algorithm in 2020
– Things You Should Know
If you want to stay at the top of your Instagram game there are a few things you should know about how the Instagram algorithm works in 2020. Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
1. Instagram Algorithm Changes Constantly
It’s important to understand that the algorithm looks at what users are doing and changes the posts that they see based on that. Because Instagram is powered by machine learning, it’s impractical to try and keep track of every single change it goes through. However, it’s important to know the overviews of what it’s trying to achieve and what principles it favors.
To that end, you can track your analytics. Keep a close eye on what kind of content you’re finding success with. It’s more than likely that what’s working for you is going to keep working, no matter how the algorithm changes. As for the content that is simply not working, you wouldn’t want to reproduce any more. Instagram’s machine learning technology will keep up and completely switch over to what’s already doing well.
2. Videos or Photos?
According to official sources, the algorithm doesn’t particularly favor videos or photos. However, there’s a clear upside to having autoplay videos on mute. According to all the experts, videos are much more likely to be viewed simply because they take up more real estate and can extract more engagement.
Don’t be discouraged, however, to use photos in your posts. As said before, the ever-changing algorithm takes photos in high regard. It’s less about the medium than the execution.
3. Keeping Your Audience Engaged
The algorithm is all about predicting. Based on a user’s history, it tries to predict what kind of posts would appeal to them. Accordingly, it takes most of its data from how users interact with posts.
The most important engagement tools are comments and likes, but views are vital for video posts as well.
Therefore, it’s important that you keep your audience engaged. If your users interact with you on a daily basis, it’s likely that the algorithm will keep pushing your posts towards them.
Using the right hashtags and enough of them can keep your user interactivity at an all-time high and help the algorithm sort you accordingly.
4. Keep Your Relationships Open – At Least to the Algorithm
Your followers will usually have a vast array of people they follow, be it friends, colleagues, family, or favorite brands. Instagram analyzes everything that users do and how they interact with people they follow to track relationships between people.
For example, if there are a lot of pictures on someone’s accounts with followers tagged, Instagram might think they are friends or family and adjusts how it views them accordingly. If a user prefers to look at the posts of their friends, the algorithm will follow suit.
If you want to reach a large audience, it’s important that Instagram properly understand the relationship between you and your followers. That means that it’s vital for you to consistently show up and post. The more content you have, the better Instagram understands how you behave towards your followers.
5. Time Is of the Essence
The Instagram algorithm cares a lot about how long ago the content is posted. That means it’s more likely to try and find fresh content to deliver to users.
Keeping your content fresh is the key to the algorithm favoring your posts over someone else’s. You can keep track of your followers’ habits and figure out when you post accordingly. Your followers will always prefer fresh content over old posts, and the algorithm will do the same.
Another factor is how much time users spend on content. User engagement becomes a big factor here, as users will spend more time looking at and interacting with a post if they’re more engaged. You will achieve better results by using mores Calls to Action and prompting user interaction in the comments than posting vague content that users will only like and scroll past.
6. Frequent Fliers Get More Posts
The algorithm likes to keep users engaged with new content. That means that users that browse Instagram multiple times a day are more likely to have the algorithm show them more and newer content. If the users visit less frequently, the algorithm shows them content that they most consistently engage with.
This ties into the previous points of engaging the audience and keeping your content fresh. Your followers are more likely to see your content if the algorithm thinks that they really want to, but there’s little you can do to influence when your followers open the app. It’s up to you, however, to create the best content possible and have the algorithm do the rest.
7. The Types Don’t Matter
It is confirmed that the algorithm doesn’t care whether you’re a creator or a business. You can rest assured that the algorithm looks at the posts all the same whether they come from a popular brand or a family friend. You’re not going to get punished for being a business and you won’t get a secret boost from being a creator. In the eyes of the algorithm, we are all the same.
8. Fighting Against Bots
This is probably the most vital point for us. The algorithm is in a constant struggle to try and eliminate bots and botted accounts from the Instagram feed. That means that any content and interactions it spots as being unnatural is going to have a disadvantage.
But that’s only if you go with inferior bots. The good ones provide a genuine, natural progression to your account so you can rest assured that they mimic natural systems and processes closely, thereby allowing it to take advantage of what the Instagram algorithm likes to see.
9. Keep an Eye Out for Change
As Instagram introduces more features, it’s important to use them. Whenever a new feature is announced and released, try to tinker with it and see how your followers like it. A fresh new feature is certainly on the algorithm’s radar and you can make a breakthrough by making the most of a new trend shortly after it’s introduced. The algorithm will need time to keep up with new trends so outmaneuvering it can be to your advantage.
The Algorithm Is Behind Everything
Everything on Instagram is governed by how the algorithm ranks it and how likely it is to show it to users. Therefore, it’s important for you to learn all there is to know about how it works and how you can use it to your advantage.