How Instagram’s Algorithms Have Changed. Major Updates for 2022

August 29, 2022

Any digital service uses algorithms. Instagram is also no exception to the rule. There are certain rules on this platform that allow you to determine the success of the user, show a certain order of posts, and also moderate the content that users post on Instagram.

Initially, the Instagram platform was conceived as a photo-sharing service, which had a special appeal in terms of visual design. But the idea of starting up turned out to be much more promising since Instagram introduced monetization, which made it possible to make ads and make money on it.

At the same time, Instagram’s algorithms are constantly changing. The founders of the service are moving with the times and strive to adapt the platform to modern trends. First of all, adaptation affects those areas that are of particular interest and user requests. Let’s talk about what Instagram algorithms are, how they are presented in 2022, and how you can cheat them to increase the audience reach of your Instagram blog.

What Are Instagram Algorithms and What Are They Used For

First of all, what are the very algorithms we are talking about? Instagram, as an innovative platform, uses neural networks and machine learning technologies. The first involves adjusting content to user requests. Machine learning, on the other hand, allows you to flexibly respond to changing trends, interests, or the relevance of particular content.

By themselves, the principles of social network algorithms are a corporate secret. Instagram officials never directly communicate exactly how they work. The maximum that users can rely on is the guesswork of users and the expert opinion of SMM specialists. But only one thing is clear. From time to time, Instagram algorithms change, and users do not always like these changes.

Main Highlights in Algorithms’ Changes from the Instagram History

Since its launching on the market in 2012, Instagram became one of the most powerful platforms for content exchange ever created. From the very beginning, Instagram had its main algorithms depicted in the following features:

  • The service allowed posting only photos of a non-standard format, reminiscent of snapshots from Polaroid or Kodak instant cameras. For publication, the photo had to be cropped to a square format.
  • Gradually, algorithms made it possible to add several photos in one post and publish videos, but no more than one per publication.
  • Messaging in Direct also did not appear immediately. This feature has been added gradually as user demand has grown.

Then the biggest breakthrough in the Instagram feed algorithm happened in 2016. To come up with it, it is also necessary to comprehend what is a chronological order means.

h2>What is Chronological Order and Why Instagram Abandoned It

Until 2016, all user posts in the news feed were shown according to a single principle, namely, in chronological order. This approach worked in other social networks at that time. The main rule of chronological order is the correspondence of the time and date of publication of posts. First of all, posts from the last to earlier were shown. At the same time, all publications without exception were displayed in the news feed.

By 2016, the number of Instagram accounts, and, accordingly, subscriptions to them, had grown exponentially compared to the first years of the service’s existence.

Display all posts in chronological order now:

  • Impossible due to their number;
  • Irrational, since neural networks have already allowed filtering content by its relevance to the user.

As a result of this, a new Instagram algorithm has been involved since 2016. It takes into account, first of all, the interest of users in publications on various topics. In simple terms, the neural network proceeds from what posts a person views and what actions he performs i.e. likes, leave comments, and so on. According to the user’s reaction, the neural network selects similar records and shows them mainly.

One More Innovation in 2019

Although Instagram CEOs deny another change in platform algorithms, in 2019, users noted changes in the work of Instagram. Indeed, the user is still placed in the feed posts that, from the point of view of the neural network, may be of interest to him. However, several other factors have also appeared that affect the position of publications in the feed.

What affects the ranking of a post in 2019:

  • interests of the user;
  • frequency of visiting the social network;
  • subscription date;
  • user activity;
  • number of user subscriptions;
  • time of publication of the post.

That is, the work of algorithms has become a little more complicated. But it still concerned, first of all, posts. But ahead was the arrival of Stories and Reels, which in their own way also influenced the very idea of the service.

Instagram Algorithms and Their Changes in 2022

In 2022, Instagram algorithms became even more accurate and sophisticated. Their rules are quite understandable and they are more adapted for the business goals of each user. What are they?

  1. The ranking of topics of viewed posts affects the fact that users will watch stories and ads on the relevant topic or as close as possible to it. The ranking consists of scanning information by Instagram neural networks of the content of publications (picture or photo, signature, hashtags) and determining the subject of your profile.
  2. In 2022, Instagram will not return to the chronological algorithm. Ranking new posts are much faster and more efficient than those posted a few days ago.
  3. The exchange of likes, a mark on a photo, and comments play an important role in the promotion algorithm on Instagram 2022.
  4. The Instagram algorithm takes into account the interests of its users and their appearance in the application network. Therefore, it raises the best publications of the day for those who open it once a day. And for those who use Instagram once a week – the best posts of the week.
  5. Your Direct interactions also matter. The network shows you the content from the accounts you communicated with on Direct recently.

Besides, all the changes caused the Instagram story algorithm. Stories are also ranked by the relevance to the user’s interests and your activity. The system shows the most interesting content according to these rules and hides stories that a user doesn’t watch recently.

As for the Instagram Reels algorithm, it is quite the same. Besides, you shouldn’t forget about the recent integration of Instagram into Meta that made two major social networks, that are Instagram and Facebook work simultaneously sharing one content in two networks.

These algorithms are essential to understanding when you want your IG account to be popular and profitable. So we hope that our article will be useful for your future Instagram success.




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