A Look at How Instagram’s Algorithms Work for Stories, Feeds, Reels, and Explores

A Look at How Instagram's Algorithms Work for Stories, Feeds, Reels, and Explores

According to Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, the platform utilizes multiple algorithms and processes to personalize the content each user sees.

The algorithms aim to provide a personalized experience that keeps users engaged on Instagram. Here’s an overview of how the Instagram algorithm works for different features:


When you open the Instagram app, you see a row of the latest Stories from accounts you follow. 

Instagram analyzes all the Stories from the past 24 hours by the accounts you follow to determine which ones appear first. 

The algorithm predicts which Stories you’re most likely to be interested in based on signals like your previous interactions with Stories, such as viewing, replying, reacting, or liking.

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The Instagram Feed aims to show you the best content since your last app usage. 

It includes a mix of posts from accounts you follow and accounts that the algorithm predicts you might be interested in. 

The algorithm considers signals like your likelihood to comment, like, or share a post, tap on a profile, and the time you’re likely to spend on a post. 

Factors such as your history of interactions, post popularity, information about the author, and frequency of interactions with the author influence the order of content in your Feed.


Instagram Reels focus on entertaining users and primarily show content from accounts you don’t follow. 

The algorithm looks at the Reels you’ve interacted with in the past and Reels liked by users similar to you. 

It predicts which Reels you’re likely to watch until the end, share with friends, or visit the audio page. 

Signals such as your Reels watch history, information about the Reel and its author, and your interaction frequency with the author contribute to the algorithm’s predictions.

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Instagram Explore aims to show you the best content from accounts you don’t follow, helping you discover new interests. 

The algorithm predicts the posts you’re likely to like, save, or share. 

It considers signals like post popularity, your preferred topics, information about the author, and your interaction history with the author.

Regarding shadowbanning, Mosseri debunked the myth that Instagram reduces the reach of accounts to encourage paid advertising. 

He explained that Instagram’s goal is to connect users with exciting content to increase time spent on the app and advertising revenue. 

Instagram introduced an Account Status section to provide transparency about any limitations on an account’s visibility.

To grow your Instagram audience, Instagram’s CEO Mosseri recommends the following best practices:

Experiment with content to find what drives engagement from your audience.

Use Insights to identify trends and improve the quality and engagement of your content.

Collaborate with popular Creators in your niche to reach new audiences with original content.

Review your Account Status to ensure compliance with Community Guidelines and remove any limitations on visibility.

Aim to create original content rather than aggregating content from others.

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