Instagram just posted an interesting blog that purports to shed some light on how the whole thing works.
Well, that, or clear up some misconceptions about how the platform’s algorithm works because the post doesn’t really go into great depth, naturally.
Basically, the idea that there is only one algorithm governing everything is false and, actually, there are multiple factors that play into what content you see. Further, there is an algorithm for every content vertical in Instagram. Like we said, nothing groundbreaking here but I guess it’s nice to know.
So how does it determine what you see in your feed and stories?
“Next we take all the information we have about what was posted, the people who made those posts, and your preferences. We call these “signals”, and there are thousands of them. They include everything from what time a post was shared to whether you’re using a phone or the web to how often you like videos.”
Those three signals are info about the post, the person that posted it, your account’s activity, and your history with that user.
Using these data inputs, Instagram then goes on to make a prediction about what you want to see.
As for the explore and reels tabs, it is essentially the same metrics except for matching you up with other users in the wider Instagram ecosystem.
The post even addressed the oft-rumored existence of a shadowban. This is where a creator alleges that their posts are being hidden by Instagram for violating some kind of policy of one kind or the other.
Apparently, it doesn’t exist.
“We also hear that people consider their posts getting fewer likes or comments as a form of “shadowbanning”. We can’t promise you that you’ll consistently reach the same amount of people when you post. The truth is most of your followers won’t see what you share because most look at less than half of their Feed.
Do you use Instagram? Do you think the platform’s attempt at clarity helps anything or just muddies the waters even further? We’d love to know your thoughts on Insta’s revealing blog post in the comments below.
Be sure to check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.
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