How does the Instagram Algorithm work in 2023? Beat it and increase your brand´s reach with these pro tips!

First, I would like to bust the myth of a single all-powerful “Algorithm” that controls everything on Instagram. According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, the platform comprises a  “variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.” In other words, Instagram wants users to spend more time on the platform, and thus, they constantly work on improving its performance to give those users the exact content they want at each time of the day and be able to compete with other social media platforms, such as TikTok. And that’s exactly why we experience those “Algorithm changes”. 

So how does Instagram rank your content? According to Mosseri, “It’s a complex process. Each part of the app – Feed, Explore, Reels – uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, use Explore to discover new content and creators, and be entertained in Reels. ”

How Instagram Rank Feed and Stories


On stories and Feed, most people want to see content from their friends, family, or people who are closest to them. Therefore, Instagram uses the following signals to rank some accounts before others, in rough order of importance:

    1. Information about the post. These are signals about both how popular the post is, and information about the content itself. It looks at things such as posting time, format, content topics and themes, text, video length, or location.

    1. Information about your account. These signals measure how many times other people have interacted with your brand in the past.

    1. Your audience´s activity. These give Instagram signals of what type of content your audience is more interested in according to what they have engaged with in the past. As a brand, you should consider what type of content your audience is currently engaging with, their needs, and how they use Instagram to solve them. 

    1. Your interaction history. If a specific person has engaged with your content in the past, he or she will be much more likely to see your post.

Moreover, Instagram will rank your stories and feed posts higher if your audience is likely to spend more time on the post, to like it, comment on it, share it, or go to your profile page.

How Instagram ranks your content on Explore


People use the Explore section to discover new accounts. Here, Instagram works hard to find the perfect recommendations for your audience, by looking at signals such as what posts your audience has engaged with in the past. Let’s say a person has commented on a post featuring a cactus leather handbag, and the same person has also engaged with a post featuring some handmade wooden shoes. Therefore, if someone likes the same shoe post, Instagram will recommend the cactus leather handbag post too. In other words, Instagram guesses what topics each person wants to see by associating groups of consumers, without really understanding what the post is about. 

Then, Instagram organizes the posts in order of what users are more likely to engage with. According to Mosseri, the most important actions they look at when ranking in the explore section are likes, shares, and saves. Furthermore, the most important signals they look at, in rough order of importance, are:

    • Information about the post. In this case, those are mostly signals about the post’s popularity. So, they measure how quickly and often people engaged with the post.

    • Your audience’s history of interacting with your account in the past.

    • Your audience’s activity. So, what type of posts they have engaged with in the past, in terms of content topics, locations, or formats, among others. That means that, for example, if your audience tends to engage with carousels featuring fashion trends and outfit ideas, they will mostly see those types of recommendations in their explore section.

    • Information from your account. Mostly, how have other people engaged with your account in the past.

How Instagram ranks your Reels.


Reels are a bit different. They are designed to entertain users. According to Mosseri, at the beginning of the Reels’ history, they prioritized them, because they thought people would be more interested in watching short-form video content. However, in 2023, they realized that some people still prefer seeing photos and carousels rather than Reels, so they stopped ranking Reels higher, and now it’s a 50/50 combination. They show more reels to people who want to see reels, and more photos to people who want to see photos.

As with the explore section, Instagram shows your audience Reels from accounts they don’t follow. This means that as a brand, creating reels gives you a huge opportunity to reach new audiences more effectively.

It is important to know that on Reels, Instagram puts special focus on what they think may entertain your audience. The most important predictions when estimating what may be entertaining are how likely a person is to watch it all the way through, like it, say it was entertaining or funny, or go to the audio page. The most important signals for Reels, roughly in order of importance, are:

    1. A person’s activity.

    1. A person’s history interacting with your brand.

    1. Information about the Reel.

    1. Information about your brand.

Keeping this in mind, you should ask yourself the following questions when drawing your content calendar, if you are planning to increase your reach in 2023:

    • Would my audience comment on this post?

    • Will my audience read the caption of this post?

    • Will my audience watch this video till the end and share it after?

    • Would my audience find this post interesting enough to save it and come back to it later?

    • Does this post include a CTA that encourages people to visit my profile?

Furthermore, according to Instagram, “brands and creators should create Reels that are entertaining, inspiring, or experimental and use creative tools like text, camera effects, or filters, and they should highly avoid posting content that is low-resolution, have a watermark, or is not-original (this mean, it has been already posted by someone else or elsewhere). These types of Reels will be deprioritized — meaning they’ll be less likely to appear across the app.

Now, do you want to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2023? Follow these 8 golden rules to reach new audiences more effectively:


    1. Know when your audience is online and, mostly, know when they crave your unique value. For example, as fashion consumers, your audience may want to check Instagram for work outfit inspiration at night before work. Be there at that time to give them what they need; the Instagram algorithm will also appreciate it.
    2. Foster a strong community with your current audience. Instagram won´t show your content to new people if it doesn´t see your current audience is interested in your content. Become their best friend, by giving them GOOD VALUE. Give them the value they can use for their real lives. For example, as a sustainable fashion brand, you could inform your users about climate change updates and news, give them fashion ideas or inspiration, or tell them how your product is contributing to a positive change within the fashion industry. Every audience is different, and thus, they want different types of value. Therefore, it is important to know who you are talking to. Moreover, for even more visibility. you can engage with their accounts. Like their posts, send them updates, etc.
    3. Consistently share stories throughout the day that encourage engagement.— polls, question boxes, and quiz stickers are all great ways to drive interactions. Furthermore, here I have to say: reposting content from other accounts or reposting your own content is ok, but make sure you provide extra value, and, don´t forget to create original content for your stories too.
    4. Upload high-quality content that matches your audience’s interests and has strong captions, with relevant keywords and niche hashtags, to optimize your posts to rank on Explore and Reels
    5. Create captions or voiceovers that encourage your audience to like your post, comment on it save it, share it, or go to your profile page, to show Instagram they are really interested.
    6. Add strong hooks, and create stunning and entertaining content that keeps them watching till the end. Also, encourage them to read the caption. The longer they stay, the better you fare.
    7. Create original content, that is high resolution, and make sure not to break Instagram´s community guidelines.

So, now you have reached the end of this article. I hope you found this information useful and that you finally understand why your posts are not visible. By the way! Instagram doesn´t prioritize posts made by content creators over brands. That´s another myth! They just want users to spend more time on the platform. So, if you have the ability to achieve that, your content will be shown!

Let me know if you will apply these tips, and if I can do anything to help you implement them, don´t hesitate to reach out.

I wish you good luck with your content strategy! Let´s reach those sustainable fashion fans!

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