The Magic Behind Instagram Ranking: Feed, Reels, and Stories Unraveled

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Decoding Instagram Ranking Methods: Feed, Reels, and Stories Revealed

The Magic Behind Instagram Ranking: Feed, Reels, and Stories Unraveled

Ever wondered why you see the posts in your feed, or how Instagram reels are featured in your timeline? Instagram has now provided an explanation. The company has listed out points on how ranking works across the social media platform, and it’s all about Instagram algorithms.

In a blog post, Instagram head Adam Mosseri stated that the platform doesn’t have a singular algorithm but uses a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes. He added that each Instagram Algorithm has its own purpose.

“Each part of the app – Feed, Stories, Explore, Reels, Search, and more – uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, use Explore to discover new content and creators and be entertained in Reels. We rank things differently in these different parts of the app and have added features and controls like Close Friends, Favorites, and Following so you can further customize your experience,” Mosseri said.

The Magic Behind Instagram Ranking: Feed, Reels, and Stories Unraveled

How Instagram Ranks Feed

The Feed is personalized with a mix of content from the accounts that users follow and recommended content from accounts that Instagram thinks users will enjoy.

It takes into account a lot of information for recommendations, such as what was posted, the people who made those posts, and users’ preferences. Furthermore, Instagram also tracks user activity like posts you’ve liked, shared, saved, or commented on.

The Magic Behind Instagram Ranking

How Instagram Ranks Stories

Similar to the Feed, users are shown Stories from people they have chosen to follow along with ads. Instagram uses signals like viewing history, engagement history, and the relationship with the author to make a series of predictions about stories that users may find more relevant and valuable.

The Magic Behind Instagram Ranking

How Instagram Ranks Reels

A majority of Instagram Reels that are shown to users are from accounts they don’t follow. In this case, Instagram sources Reels it thinks a particular user might like, then orders them based on how interesting they may be to users.

“In order to find entertaining reels, we survey people and ask whether they find a particular reel worth their time or fun and learn from the feedback to get better at figuring out what will entertain people. The most important predictions we make are how likely you are to reshare a reel, watch a reel all the way through, like it, and go to the audio page,” Mosseri said.

Understanding how Instagram algorithms for ranking work can provide users with insights into why certain posts, Stories, or Reels appear in their feeds. It also highlights the platform’s efforts to personalize the user experience and deliver content that users are likely to find interesting and engaging.


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