How the Instagram algorithm works in 2021

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2021

If you spend a lot of time on Instagram , you know that the ‘Instagram algorithm in 2021 changes often and can behave in mysterious ways. But once you understand how the algorithm actually works, you can adapt your strategy for super-performing posts and content.

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2021

According to Instagram, there are 6 key factors that influence the Instagram 2021 algorithm :

  • Interest
  • Relation
  • Publication times
  • Login
  • Follow
  • Usage


Your Instagram feed is not only based on who you follow profiles, but also on the accounts and post types you’ve liked in the past. The more the Instagram 2021 algorithm thinks you’ll like a certain type of post, the more often it will show them to you in the feed.

Basically, what you see in your Instagram feed is a combination of all your behaviors on the social network. The accounts you interact with the most, the people you are tagged with in the photos, and of course the type of posts you like and comments.

This is why constantly using Instagram is important.

When it comes to feed performance, we know that the algorithm prioritizes content that receives most engagement .

But what are the most important metrics?

According to Instagram, the key post metrics are comments , likes , shares , saves and video views , which is really useful to know as you plan your content for Instagram.


The algorithm of Instagram in 2021 favors the posts of your friends, family and the profiles of people with whom there is a real connection.

So, in order for Instagram to show you what really is akin to your interests, the Instagram 2021 algorithm uses the aforementioned metrics to create a nexus of proximity to your preferences. >

Thomas Dimson , one of the developers of the Instagram algorithm, has revealed the parameters according to which the social network analyzes profiles that may interest you:

  • People whose content you like
  • People you send messages to
  • People you are looking for
  • People you know in real life

Instagram will try to calculate this relationship (and your level of interest) as soon as you follow someone by monitoring your actions .

Publishing times

The Instagram algorithm in 2021 not only pays attention to the engagement of your post, but also observes and analyzes the publication times .

If you post at a time when your followers are online you give yourself a better chance of getting more interactions .


How much time do you spend on Instagram? If you always browse the platform, your feed will show you content in chronological order , so you don’t miss out on the best posts since your last visit.

If you check the Instagram app less often, your feed will show you what Instagram thinks you will like, so you will not see the content in chronological order of publication.


How many people do you follow on Instagram? If you follow a lot of people, Instagram won’t show you the content of all users, it will only present you with the “highest quality” content with more interactions.

For this reason it is advisable to remove inactive or “ghost” followers, the so-called “ ghost followers “. If a large percentage of your followers are inactive, Instagram will penalize the algorithmic ranking of your account.


If you spend a lot of time on Instagram, you can even run out of new content to view. Once this happens, the Instagram 2021 algorithm will provide you with content suggested by new accounts, based on your previous interactions.

However, if you only spend a few minutes in the app every day, the Instagram algorithm in 2021 will only show you the highlights of the day.

How the Instagram algorithm works for Instagram stories

Typically, Instagram Stories that appear at the top of your feed come from accounts you interact with the most, whether it’s likes, comments, stories views , reactions or messages in Direct.

The Instagram Stories algorithm pays great attention to timeliness, as it wants to make sure it always shows you the latest stories from your favorite accounts.

If you consistently follow a particular account, its new stories will show up first in your feed.

So it might be a good idea to post stories often, thus having the chance to reach followers as they browse their daily stories: the more views you get, the better yours will be positioning.

How the Instagram algorithm works in the Explore page

Overall, the Explore page and the feed algorithm are quite similar – both deliver content that Instagram says you are most interested in, based on your previous interactions.

algoritmo Instagram nel 2021

However, your Instagram feed will consist of content posted by the accounts you already follow, while the Explore section will consist almost entirely of new content account.

The Explore page is constantly evolving, with new topic categories and advanced search features being introduced all the time.

For example, you can now search for keywords . Why?

The Instagram algorithm in 2021 on the Explore page goes beyond the tags present in posts, by reading and recognizing the visual content and the words in the caption.

The “Explore” page

Luckily, ending up on Instagram’s Explore page isn’t as difficult as you might think: c continually sharing great content with catchy captions and niche hashtags will help rank your post on the Explore page.

While, for the hashtag search results , Instagram prioritizes the best performing posts.

These posts are selected based on engagement and based on the amount of posts published for that hashtag.

How the Instagram algorithm works for video, Reel and IGTV

For IGTV Videos and Instagram Reels , the algorithm prioritizes the content of the accounts you interact with usually.

The Instagram algorithm in 2021 for video is based on what the social network thinks you will like.

The advice is to always publish the preview of the IGTV videos on the feed , increasing the initial exposure and providing a positive signal to the algorithm.

Same thing for Reels, always share them on your main feed and don’t forget to enter the right hashtags to increase their performance.

Are you ready to challenge the Instagram algorithm in 2021?

Create viral content and try to use all the formats that Instagram makes available: this is the only way to get your Instagram profile off the ground in 2021!

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