Instagram

The All New Instagram Algorithm: 6 Factors That Influence the Instagram Algorithm in 2021

March 1, 2021 | 0 min read

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Instagram has come a long way compared to what it used to be– an app just for sharing photos. Today, it’s one of the biggest social media platforms and boasts almost a billion users in 2021. So in the middle of this one app becoming a huge potential source of business and exposure, how does one keep up with Instagram’s algorithms and not succumb to it? Let’s discuss instagram algorithms in 2021 and everything else you need to know about it!

It has evolved from just heavily filtered photos and hashtags. Before, users were limited to just uploading photos and short explainer videos. Today, it’s more than just a social media platform. It’s a lifestyle.

Instagram users don’t just use the platform for fun anymore. Businesses, brands, and public figures have chosen Instagram as their playground to interact with their audience and gain potential customers.

Mandatory for Every Business

Technology has become a significant part of our lives. As it continues to develop and advance, the need to socialize and connect with others has also evolved from just meeting face-to-face. 

Customer service, CRMs, and acknowledging customers have moved to the online world. Although greeting a customer in a store is still necessary, there is no doubt that social media platforms and websites have made customer interaction and market research slightly easier.

Websites and online presence on social media platforms are like storefronts. Without it, businesses can seem less credible. Websites can be costly to build but merely existing on social media platforms costs nothing.

So, for businesses, influencers, and content creators to thrive in this era, a moderate online presence is needed. 

How does the Instagram Algorithm Work? Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm 

Posting frequently and being active won’t do much for your business today. Before, when Instagram’s algorithm was more straightforward, it would be enough to post a few times a day. 

Today, the Instagram algorithm has grown so different that you would need to spend more time planning what to post.

The good news is that Instagram has made it known that six factors influence the Instagram algorithm in 2021.

Interest

Posting as much as you can used to be the way to get on everyone’s feed. Instagram has learned this and is now smarter than you think. So, tricking it with posting more isn’t valid anymore. 

If you’ve noticed the chronological order is no longer available, then you’ve seen that your feed is catered to your interests. Instagram shows you posts that they think you’ll like.

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Interest

As seen here, if you liked or commented on a lot of similar pictures, your Explore feed will most likely show pictures you might like. 

It sounds creepy at first, but it’s quite brilliant. As per this Instagram algorithm, they figure this out by observing your actions in the app. So, similar posts of whatever you like, watch, comment, and share with friends are most likely to appear on your feed. 

This same Instagram algorithm applies to Instagram Stories as well. This is why accounts you always click on always appear first!

Timelessness

Instagram is also up-to-date with seasons and trends. It’s doubtful that they’ll show a Halloween themed post in January. Whatever is trending in the world, you’ll see it on your feed.

Hence, as per the Instagram algorithm, it’s essential to stay updated with what’s going on in the world since it can affect your insights. 

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Timelessness

Glossier posts a lot of user-generated content but sometimes they post artwork and aesthetic images that their followers can share with their friends. For example, this painting garnered a lot of likes and comments. It’s a great post because it’s timeless, making it even better to share anytime.  

Relationship

You don’t want to miss your family’s latest posts or your favorite celebrity’s updates. Instagram knows this, so they value your relationships by showing you their latest posts on your feed as a part of the new Instagram algorithm. 

Instagram knows these people matter to you because they observe them from how much you interact with them. Instagram will consider the content you engage with the most a priority, and it will most likely appear more on your timeline than others. 

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Relationship

By checking out your insights, you can see how much interaction your posts get. This is an excellent tool for you to plan better content for Instagram. This is also highly beneficial for seeing which types of content gains the most engagement so you can create similar content. 

Frequency

When we mention frequency, it’s not about how many times you post on Instagram. It’s actually about how often you are on the app. 

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Frequency

Based on your screen time, Instagram’s algorithm will organize posts to show you according to that. If you’re spending little time on the app, they’ll show you posts they think you might like. If you spend a lot of time on it, your feed might be more chronological because they want to offer you the best and latest posts. 

Following

Are you following more people? Instagram will take note and show you different posts. Due to the large following, there might be fewer posts from specific accounts. It all comes back to how often you engage with the accounts you follow. 

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Following

In the Following section, you can see which accounts you interact with the least and which accounts are mostly shown in your feed. 

Following more people gives  Instagram’s algorithm a chance to choose from more content, but it can also do the opposite, proving that engagement on this platform is super important. 

Usage

Avid Instagram users, your feed is more likely to be filled with more content because that’s how Instagram’s algorithm works. You won’t have to worry about them running out of things to show you because how often you use the app significantly affects the algorithm.

Six Factors That Influence the Algorithm  - Usage

If you’ve been away from Instagram and you’re just checking in, the posts that will appear on your feed might be more about things that are happening in the world today. For example, @sgagsg shares a post about coronavirus vaccinations. 

If you’re detoxing from the app and spending just a few minutes a day, the algorithm will show you the highlights of the day. 

The Takeaway

Instagram is an excellent platform for businesses and content creators because it’s a perfect form of visual storytelling. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; Instagram is an excellent community for you to grow and connect with others. 

Instagram’s algorithm is continuously changing to cater to the users of the app. Businesses have experienced the drawbacks of the algorithm changes. We’re here to tell you that you can boost your engagement and improve your online presence if you understand the six factors influencing the algorithm.

The key to staying on top of everyone’s feeds is to keep yourself updated and well-versed when it comes to algorithm updates. 

Now that you have a rough idea of the six factors that affect the  Instagram algorithm, here’s what you can do to improve your engagement on Instagram in 2021.

Remember to build and maintain connections with your followers. Whether it’s regular DMs or replying to comments on your posts, don’t just ignore your followers. 

For content creators, it’s time to create more meaningful content. This means content that your followers can resonate with. Instead of just staying behind the camera, it’s time to converse with your audience.

Don’t be shy about leaving some comments on your followers’ pages. You can also boost engagement with Instagram Stories by hosting polls, Q&As, and stickers. (Yes, that’s another brownie-point-Instagram-algorithm right there)

If you’re looking to boost your posts on top of everyone’s feeds, then consider changing up your content marketing strategy to create meaningful, shareable content that everyone wants to see. 

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