Decoding the 2024 Instagram Algorithm–Comprehensive Guide and Insights

Decoding the 2024 Instagram Algorithm

Today, the most popular question among social media managers, producers, and anyone attempting to grow on social is: How does the Instagram algorithm work?

 The Instagram algorithm has always piqued the interest of casual users and committed content creators, causing speculation and, at times, resentment.

So, understanding this constantly changing algorithm becomes more crucial than ever. According to recent figures, more than 2 billion individuals use Instagram regularly, with 81% using the platform to explore products and services.

Contrary to widespread assumption, no single algorithm rules them all on Instagram.

According to a recent update released by the Meta-owned site, there are “a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its purpose” to ensure that Instagram users receive the most relevant content. A “variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes” may sound confusing, but don’t worry — it’s not as frightening as it sounds.

So, in 2024, we’ll look at how the Instagram algorithm works for feed posts, stories, the Explore page, and Instagram Reels.

What Is the Instagram Algorithm?

The Instagram algorithm refers to the rules and calculations used by Instagram to decide which content users see on their feeds, Stories, and other sections of the app.

Here are a few key factors influencing how the Instagram algorithm works in 2024:

  • User Engagement: The algorithm prioritizes posts with high engagement, such as likes, comments, shares, and views, shortly after posting them.
  • Recency: While newer posts are given some preference, the algorithm doesn’t strictly adhere to chronological order as in the past.
  • Relationships: If a user frequently interacts with an account (likes, comments, DMs), the algorithm recognizes this and prioritizes content from that account.
  • Profile Searches: Regularly searching for a specific profile indicates interest, prompting the algorithm to show more of that profile’s content.
  • Content Type & Interaction Duration: The type of content (photo, video, carousel) and the time a user spends on it influence what type of content the algorithm shows more of.
  • Direct Sharing & DMs: Content shared through direct messages or stories suggests high engagement and may be boosted by the algorithm.
  • Frequency of Use: How often users open Instagram can affect what they see in their feeds.
  • Following Count: Users following many accounts might only see some posts from some accounts due to the sheer volume of potential content.

Additionally, various sections of Instagram, such as the main feed, Stories, Explore Page, and Reels, have their algorithms, with user interactions guiding what content gets prioritized.

And remember, engaging with Instagram likes can also impact what content you see on your feed!

How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work in 2024?

In 2024, Instagram will employ multiple algorithms tailored to different app sections, such as feed posts, Stories, Explore Pages, and Reels. Each algorithm ranks content based on various factors:

  • Feed Algorithm: Determines content visibility based on your in-feed activity (likes, comments, shares, and saves), as well as information about the post and the account that posted it.
  • Stories Algorithm: Prioritizes Stories based on your past views or engagement with them.
  • Explore Page Algorithm: Curates content for the Explore Page based on your activity within Explore (likes, comments, shares) and information about the post and the account.
  • Reels Algorithm: Ranks Reels content based on your activity within Reels (likes, comments, shares, and saves), as well as information about the Reel and the account.

These algorithms ensure users are presented with content tailored to their interests and engagement history within each specific app section.

How Instagram Ranks Reels

Instagram ranks Reels based on several key factors to ensure users are presented with entertaining content:

  • User Activity: Instagram analyzes the Reels you’ve recently interacted with to understand what content may be relevant to you.
  • Interaction History: While you may come across Reels from new accounts, Instagram considers your past interactions with these accounts to gauge your interest in their content.
  • Reel Information: Signals about the content elements within a Reel, such as audio tracks and popularity, help Instagram determine how to rank the videos appropriately.
  • Information About the Poster: The algorithm aims to provide equal opportunities for all creators to reach their audience. As a result, new accounts and smaller artists have an opportunity to get recognition and exposure. The popularity of the video also plays a role in determining its visibility, allowing content from a diverse range of creators to be showcased.

Instagram’s Reels algorithm prioritizes content likely to entertain users, considering user behavior, past interactions, details about the reel, and poster information. This approach ensures a dynamic and engaging Reels experience for users.

How Instagram Ranks Stories

Instagram ranks Stories based on various signals to ensure users are shown the most relevant and engaging content:

Viewing History: The frequency with which a user views a particular account’s Stories influences the likelihood of those Stories appearing first in their Stories Tray. Accounts that users engage with more frequently are prioritized.

Engagement History: User interactions with a particular account’s Stories, such as sending reactions or responses, are considered. Higher levels of engagement indicate a more substantial interest in the content and may lead to increased visibility

Closeness: Instagram considers the overall relationship between the user and the account owner. Accounts deemed closer to the user, such as friends or family, are more likely to have their Stories prioritized.

These signals predict which Stories users find most relevant and valuable, including elements such as the probability of accessing a Story, DM-ing a Story, or proceeding to the subsequent Story. By analyzing these signals, Instagram determines the ranking of Stories in a user’s Stories Tray, ensuring each user’s personalized and engaging experience.


Instagram’s algorithm wants you to stay connected based on hundreds of signals, including your interaction history, location, the accounts you follow, and more.

Creators should watch for official algorithm modifications, follow experts, and react to changes to stay ahead of the competition and future improvements.

By staying informed about algorithm changes and expert advice, creators can adapt effectively to Instagram’s evolving landscape.

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