How the Instagram Algorithm Works

It's crucial to know how the Instagram algorithm works if you expect to succeed with social media. Here's how it works.

When Instagram initially launched, users saw posts in their timeline in reverse chronological order – their friends’ most recent posts showed at the top of the feed. However, Instagram changed that in 2016 by choosing to display posts based on what they thought the users would most like to see. This is known as Instagram’s algorithm.

Instagram’s algorithm decides which of your posts will show to the most viewers, how often they show, and who they’re showing to.

So naturally, learning how to use the algorithm in your favor is great for marketing purposes.

The Instagram algorithm relies on three primary ranking signals.


The algorithm bumps up posts from accounts that a user already interacts with. This means that if a customer regularly comments or likes on a specific jewelry brands page, they’ll see posts from that brand more often.

This means that focusing on community engagement is key. You can’t only post on Instagram when you’re trying to occasionally sell something. You need to regularly post things so your audience engages with it. This ensures that when you’re running a sale or going for a hard push on a marketing campaign, the most people possible will see your efforts.


Instagram wants to show users what they’re interested in. It’s in the best interest of the platform to help you discover new brands and pages to like that are similar to other brands you like – and that’s exactly what they do.

Instagram shows users posts from pages that are similar to the pages they most interact with.


Posts that are more recent are more likely to be pushed to the top of people’s feeds.

There are social media tools (HootSuite, CoSchedule, Buffer) that can automatically schedule your posts at the most optimal times.

However, this ultimately means that you need to post on a regular basis. It’s not just important in order to stay in your customers minds, but also because the Instagram algorithm actually likes it.

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