Instagram Outlines its Important Ranking Factors for Feed Posts, Stories and Reels

Want to learn more about the elements that influence the reach of your Instagram posts?

Instagram gave an in-depth summary of the many parameters that the company considers when determining how to rank feed posts, Stories, and Reels in each user's feed last year.

The platform has released some brief explanations of those variables so that you can take them into account as you develop your platform strategy.


To begin with, the most important ranking indicators for feed posts and Stories are:


To provide extra insight, Instagram defined each aspect in June of last year as follows:

  • Information about the post - These are signals both about how popular a post is – think how many people have liked it – and more mundane information about the content itself, like when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video, and what location, if any, was attached to it.

  • Information about the person who posted - This helps us get a sense for how interesting the person might be to you, and includes signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks.

  • Your activity - This helps us understand what you might be interested in and includes signals such as how many posts you’ve liked.

  • Your history of interacting with someone - This gives us a sense of how interested you are generally in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

Instagram is contending with TikTok, thus Reels has to have its algorithm. The TikTok algorithm is finely tailored to user preferences, and as you scroll around the app, it will swiftly adapt to display more of what you're attracted to, and Instagram's Reels algorithm is heading in the same direction.


The key elements have been rearranged for Reels, hence activity in the Reels stream takes precedence above information about the post and its author, as it does in the main feed.

More from Instagram:

  • Your activity - We look at things like which reels you’ve liked, commented on, and engaged with recently. These signals help us to understand what content might be relevant to you.

  • Your history of interacting with the person who posted - Like in Explore, it’s likely the video was made by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you have interacted with them that gives us a sense of how interested you might be in what they shared.

  • Information about the reel - These are signals about the content within the video such as the audio track, video understanding based on pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.

  • Information about the person who posted - We consider popularity to help find compelling content from a wide array of people and give everyone a chance to find their audience.

These brief rundowns from Instagram don't give any new information, but the differences are noteworthy and keeping these lists available as you contemplate how to enhance the effectiveness of your Instagram post could be useful.


More information about Instagram's ranking algorithms may be found here.

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