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How Instagram Ranks Content in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

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In the ever-evolving world of social media, Instagram has firmly established itself as a leading platform for sharing visual content. With its extensive user base and diverse range of features, Instagram provides an excellent opportunity for businesses and marketers to connect with their target audience. However, understanding how Instagram ranks content is crucial for maximizing reach and engagement. In this blog post, we will explore how Instagram ranks content in 2023, focusing on key areas such as the Feed, Stories, Explore, Reels, and Search.

The Feed Algorithm

The Instagram Feed algorithm remains a critical aspect of content ranking. While the specific details are not publicly disclosed, several factors contribute to the algorithm’s decision-making process. These factors include:

  1. a) Engagement: The level of engagement (likes, comments, and shares) a post receives plays a significant role in determining its ranking in users’ Feeds. Higher engagement signals that the content is valuable and relevant to the audience.
  2. b) Relationship: Instagram also takes into account the relationship between the user and the account that posted the content. If a user frequently engages with a particular account’s content, Instagram is more likely to prioritize it in their Feed.
  3. c) Timeliness: Freshness of content is crucial. Instagram tends to prioritize recent posts to ensure users receive the most up-to-date content.
  4. d) Usage Patterns: Instagram’s algorithm analyzes individual usage patterns, such as the type of content a user typically engages with and the accounts they follow. This information helps determine the relevance of content for each user.

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Stories Ranking

Instagram Stories have gained immense popularity since their introduction, and their ranking is influenced by different factors compared to the Feed algorithm. The primary considerations for Stories ranking include:

  1. a) Completion Rate: Instagram measures the percentage of viewers who watch an entire Story. Higher completion rates indicate engaging and compelling content, leading to improved ranking.
  2. b) User Preferences: Instagram analyzes a user’s interaction with Stories from specific accounts. If a user regularly engages with a particular account’s Stories, Instagram will prioritize that account’s content in the Stories section.
  3. c) Recency: Similar to the Feed, timeliness is crucial for Stories ranking. Recent Stories are more likely to appear at the beginning of a user’s Stories feed.

Explore Page

The Explore page on Instagram provides users with a curated selection of content tailored to their interests. The ranking of content on the Explore page relies on the following factors:

  1. a) User Preferences: Instagram carefully examines a user’s interactions, including likes, comments, and saves, to determine their interests. Content that aligns with a user’s preferences has a higher chance of appearing on their Explore page.
  2. b) Post Performance: The popularity of a post, including its engagement rate and the level of interest it generates among users, influences its visibility on the Explore page.
  3. c) Similar Content: Instagram suggests content similar to what users have engaged with previously. Thus, posting consistent and relevant content can increase the chances of appearing on the Explore page.

Also read about Best time to post Instagram Reels

Reels Ranking

Reels, Instagram’s short-form video feature, has become increasingly popular and has a dedicated space within the app. When it comes to ranking Reels, Instagram focuses on the following elements:

  1. a) Engagement: Reels with higher engagement, including likes, comments, and shares, are more likely to be promoted and featured prominently in the Reels section.
  2. b) Video Completion: Instagram considers how many users watch a Reel in its entirety. The more viewers watch a Reel till the end, the higher its chances of ranking well.
  3. c) Virality: Reels that quickly gain traction and generate interest among users through shares and engagement are more likely to be showcased to a broader audience.

Search Ranking

Instagram’s Search feature allows users to find accounts, hashtags, and locations. While Instagram has not explicitly disclosed the factors influencing Search ranking, key considerations likely include:

  1. a) Relevance: Instagram determines the relevance of an account, hashtag, or location to a user’s search query. The platform likely considers factors such as account name, bio, content, and engagement.
  2. b) Popularity: Accounts, hashtags, or locations with higher engagement rates and popularity are more likely to rank higher in search results.
  3. c) Completeness: Optimizing account profiles with relevant information and using accurate hashtags can improve the chances of ranking well in Instagram’s search results.


Understanding how Instagram ranks content across various features is vital for businesses and marketers to maximize their reach and engagement on the platform. While Instagram’s algorithms remain proprietary, focusing on factors like engagement, user preferences, relevance, and timeliness can greatly impact content visibility. By tailoring content strategies to these ranking factors, marketers can enhance their chances of reaching their target audience effectively in 2023 and beyond on Instagram.

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