Instagram’s New Photo Ranking Algorithm

Instagram’s New Photo Ranking Algorithm
Instagram’s New Photo Ranking Algorithm

A couple of years ago, Instagram abandoned its system of displaying its feed in reverse chronology leading to major chaos with users unable to figure out how the new algorithm worked. However, Instagram affirms that the chronological feed that users so loved was actually responsible for users missing half of the posts of their friends. A peek into the logic behind Instagram’s move to update its algorithm:

The Disadvantage of the Chronological Feed

According to TechCrunch, that had an opportunity of interacting with Instagram to find out how its photo-ranking algorithm worked, “Instagram users were missing 70 percent of all posts and 50 percent of their friends’ posts before the app ditched the reverse chronological feed for an algorithm in July 2016.” The report goes on to say that after Instagram introduced its relevancy sorting algorithm, its 1 billion-plus users have the opportunity of viewing 90% of the posts of their friends and, therefore, spend more time on the app opening up new opportunities for advertisers to generate leads and achieve conversions. It appears that even though the ordering of the content may seem somewhat jumbled, users are liable to see many more of their friends’ posts; the actual extent being dictated by an individual’s usage behavior.

Feed Content Influenced More by Followers than You

Whether your post actually shows up in the feed of your followers has less to do with you and more to do with the preferences and usage behavior of your followers. Instagram’s decision of whether a post will be displayed on the feeds of your real Instagram followers is based on the interest displayed by them in the same sort of content, the extent of previous interaction with you, as well as prioritization of fresh content. Additionally, secondary factors like the frequency of usage of Instagram by the user, the number of followers the user has, and how much time the user spends on the app.

Shadowbanning Not A Reality

Many photographers started accusing Instagram of shadowbanning their accounts, i.e. suppressing many of their posted photos so that they are not seen by the users. However, Instagram has vehemently denied these accusations and gone on record that they do not hide posted photos or take any action against users for using too many hashtags or posting too frequently. According to Instagram, you can see all the posts of those you follow if you keep on scrolling.

Reach Maximization

Consistently post high-quality photos so that users view and interact with them regularly; the higher the level of engagement, the more likely that your photos will appear first on the feed. Building relationshipwith followers is important because the more interaction you have the more likely that your posts will get bumped up in the feed. Posting regularly gets you more attention from followers and hence acts to promote your posts.


There is no reason to disbelieve Instagram’s claim on more visibility for your posts if you take care to post interesting and engaging content that your followers like. When you have a higher level of engagement, it is natural that your posts will appear more frequently in the feed of your followers. 


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