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Understanding Instagram’s Algorithms

Instagram has plenty of users all around the world today. If you’re reading this now, then you’re likely part of this group of users, or at least know a lot of people who are. Why shouldn’t you be? This social media platform is a great way to stay connected with the people you know. You can get your daily dose of visual aesthetic inspiration, and even do some virtual shopping.

Whether you’re using Instagram for personal or business purposes, its features are sure to deliver the social media presence and engagement that you’re aiming for. One of the app’s key features is Instagram Stories. Not only is Instagram Stories a cool way to get to know what your friends are up to, but they can also be leveraged by business owners to grow their companies.

However, before you can make Instagram work for you, you must first have an understanding of its algorithms and some of its features so you can use it to your advantage.

Instagram Stories

When you’re logged in, Instagram Stories can be found at the top-most portion of the app. Stories can either be photos or videos that are shown for 15 seconds and then disappear after 24 hours. You just have to tap them to view them. You can also save your Instagram Stories by assigning them as “Highlights” to your profile, where they won’t have an expiration date.

Instagram Stories are easy and fun to create, thanks to the filters, gifs, and text that you can add. Businesses can use Instagram Stories as a casual way to reach their target audiences and create engagement. They can be used to advertise content that has time limits like sales, promotions, and events. Since Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, the time sensitivity of the ad couldn’t be more pronounced.

Business owners can also get sponsored ads for Instagram Stories. This advertising method can help you reach a broader audience since Instagram users see sponsored ads sandwiched between Stories that they view.

Track Your Viewers

A neat feature of Instagram Stories is that it allows you to see who has viewed your Story. To find out, you just have to view your Instagram Story and see your viewers in the lower-left corner of the screen.

When users have viewed your Instagram Story, you’ll see “Seen by” with a number underneath, along with one or several profiles pictures. To view the complete list of viewers and overall view count, just tap the “Seen by”.

Instagram Stories Viewers Ranking

Most Instagram users suspect that the ranking of their Instagram Stories has to do with who views their profile the most. However, the algorithm of your viewers’ rankings doesn’t reveal who stalks you on Instagram the most, but rather, who you search for and engage with the most.

Instagram Stories doesn’t reveal your activity in the app to other users, but it keeps tabs on it and uses it to show you content and people that are based on your activity on the app.

Instagram Feed Algorithm

One thing you should note about your Instagram feed is that it doesn’t show you content chronologically. Rather, the algorithm shows you posts that you might be interested in since its main goal is to keep you engaged with the app.

Your Instagram Stories and Instagram feed uses different algorithms. In your Instagram feed, the posts that you see are based on your activity in the app, like how you engage with the accounts that post, how recent the post was, and of course, how likely you’ll engage with the post.

Instagram’s goal of keeping its users engaged is a perfect tool for businesses. Especially since it makes it easier for your business to connect with users who are likely to engage with your content, like liking your post, making a purchase, or clicking the link that will direct them to your website. Although Instagram doesn’t show you posts in a chronological manner, it still treats more recent posts as more relevant.

Instagram Insights

For business owners, to find out which of your Instagram strategies are working, it’s advisable to track your Instagram insights. Track your old and new posts’ weekly performance metrics. Keep track of elements like the number of likes, comments, and shares that your posts receive, so you can measure which ones are doing great and which ones aren’t.

When you track your insights over time, it will help you identify and formulate strategies and the types of content that attract more engagement from your audience. The best thing about it is you can grow your business this way without paying for ads. It would also be advisable to follow and engage with other Instagram accounts that have the same niche as you. That way, you can do collaborations that will enable you to broaden your reach even further and provide content that your audience will enjoy.

Factors Affecting Engagement

There are several factors at play that may affect your Instagram Stories or posts. These factors can make or break your audience engagement on Instagram.

Some of the factors you should consider are:

  • The types of content you post
  • If your content is recent or not
  • Hashtags you use
  • Number of users seeing your posts
  • Number of followers
  • How many fake accounts follow you

To Wrap Things Up

Instagram is a great platform, whether you’re using it to form connections or widen your business’s reach. However, one way of making Instagram your ally in reaching your goals is to understand how its algorithm works. Once you get the hang of how things work behind the app’s features, then you can use it to your advantage.

Tulumi offers social media marketing services that will help build your brand and credibility across all platforms. We manage your social media content and engagement on your behalf, so you can be assured that you’re reaching your prospects and increasing your conversion. Aside from social media marketing, we also offer other digital marketing services.

Deb Wallace | CEO | Digital Marketing Services | Tulumi Digital Marketing

Deb Wallace


Deb Wallace brings a dynamic career in mobile and internet marketing. She remains on the industry’s cutting edge for technology and innovation driving new business through establishing strategic partnerships and relationships. She carries with her a vast knowledge in the e-commerce marketplace as well as extensive experience in the online payment processing industry.

Deb is exceptionally well organized with a track record that demonstrates creativity, tenacity, and initiative in achieving both personal and business goals. She is currently focused on providing multiple locations for the company.


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