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How the Instagram Explore Page Algorithm Works

The main goal of the Explore page is to introduce you to new things. So although Instagram still delivers content based on what you’ll be most interested in, most of the posts will come from accounts you don’t follow. 

To determine which posts to rank, the algorithm first looks at posts you’ve interacted with in the past. It then finds out who else has interacted with those posts and what other accounts they’re interested in. This helps the Instagram algorithm to narrow down which posts to rank for your Explore page.

After finding a group of posts you might be interested in, Instagram then ranks them using the following signals:

  • Post information – Instagram looks at the popularity of a post based on how many likes, comments, and saves it’s received. But these signals weigh much more heavily for the Explore page than for Feed and Stories.
  • Interaction history – Although the post may be from an account you don’t follow, Instagram can understand how interested you are in their content based on whether you’ve interacted with their posts in the past.
  • User activity – Instagram considers the posts you’ve liked, shared, and commented on. It also looks at the history of how you’ve interacted with other posts in your Explore page.
  • Information about the poster – Instagram also considers information about the poster such as how much interaction they’ve received in the past few weeks. This helps the algorithm to find high-quality content from a wide range of users.

The Instagram algorithm then uses all of this information to make predictions on how likely you are to interact with a given post. For example, in the Feed, it will look closely at how long you are going to spend looking at the post, how likely you are to comment on it, like it, or save it, and how likely you are to check out the profile. So posts that you see high up in your Feed are ones that the algorithm considers you’ll most likely take an action on.

The Instagram algorithm isn’t a single algorithm but rather a combination of algorithms, processes, and classifiers that work to personalize the individual user experience. Instagram initially used a simple chronological algorithm that displayed posts in order of how they were created. But the Instagram algorithm in 2023 has become a highly sophisticated system for determining which content to display to each user based on what they care about the most.

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