Crack the Instagram Code - how the algorithm works in 2023

instagram reels social media social media news social media strategy May 07, 2023

Like it or hate it, the Instagram algorithm is what decides if your audience sees your posts on the platform... or not. 

Let's talk about how the algorithm works in 2023 and what you can do to make the most of it.

What is the Instagram algorithm?

First of all, let's explain what it is. It's essentially a set of rules or computer code that ranks content on the platform and decides what is seen and by whom.

There is no way to bypass the algorithm. All content posted to the platform gets analysed by it.

There are multiple algorithms.
It might seem like it would be great to have just one algorithm, but it's actually a combination of multiple rules working together.

Also a lot of people don't realise, but there are DIFFERENT algorithms for the newsfeed, Reels and Stories. This means you could rank highly in someone's feed, but not appear in their Stories. 

Each time you open Instagram, it uses the algorithms to decide what content to give you and in what order. 


What is new in 2023?
A greater focus on showing users something new. So mix up the types of posts you put out to maximise reach in existing and new audiences.

In 2022, Instagram went all in on video. In 2023 they seem to be winding this back and we're likely to see a more equal ranking for video and photos

 Original content will now be prioritised by the algorithm. So if you share a lot of content from other Instagram accounts or other platforms, you may notice a decreased reach. 

The 3 Important things the Instagram feed algorithm cares about.

  1. Your post. Is it getting a lot of engagement? When did it get posted? Has it used features like location tagging and hashtags? Does it relate to a topic that is currently attracting a lot of interest?

    2. The people.What is the relationship between you and the person logging in to Instagram? Have they interacted with you before? Was it recently? How often? Do they follow you? Have you DM'd before? These all go into deciding how likely it is this person will want to see this post from you.

  2. Activity. If you post without actively engaging with your audience and others on the platform, your reach will decrease. Likewise, if your audience is active and interacts with a lot of other similar content, they are more likely to see yours.


Instagram Stories & Reels
A lot of the same algorithmic factors apply, but only specifically to the way they interact with this part of the platform. It also will take into account things like what stickers or music you use in a Story. Or the content of your video on a Reel based on the caption, audio and more.

There you have it! A flash guide to the Instagram algorithm and what it loves and loathes in 2023.

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