The “Original” IG Algorithm Is Back: What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide. It’s not enough to create high-quality, compelling, and visually appealing content – you need to make it work for the ever-changing algorithm.

Like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and virtually every other platform that relies on search, the Instagram algorithm uses a mix of factors to decide how content should be ranked and prioritized in user’s feeds.

In 2022, Instagram went back to the original basics by reintroducing the ability to filter your feed chronologically or view a curated list of posts from accounts you follow. The default feed, which goes off of Instagram’s ranking, is still going to be default for many on the app, however.

It’s important to understand how Instagram ranks content and get the most out of your influencer marketing campaign.

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm uses a predetermined set of rules and criteria to determine which posts are seen, but it’s more than just one formula. The platform uses a variety of processes, classifiers, and algorithms, all with different goals and purposes.[1]

The idea behind these is to personalize the experience as much as possible for users, providing the content they’re most likely to enjoy.

The algorithm filters content and decides:

  • Which posts are in the top of the newsfeed
  • The order of posts
  • The posts that are featured in the Explore tab
  • The order of Stories, Reels, and Live videos

In addition, the algorithm considers the relationship of the poster to their followers, the relevance of the content, and the timeliness of the post.

For Feed and Stories, the algorithm sorts things out further and prioritizes content based on the user’s past activity, including:

  • The post’s likes or engagement
  • The time of the post
  • The location
  • For video, the length
  • The user’s history of interactions with the poster
  • The user’s activity across the platform

The Explore tab uses similar criteria but considers what content the user may like based on past interactions. With Reels, the focus for both accounts the user follows and the ones they don’t is which content is most likely to be watched in full.

What Does This Mean for Influencers?

No matter which feature you use on Instagram, the algorithm determines the visibility of the content, ultimately. Fortunately, influencers who entertain and inform the audience with quality, engaging content will have an edge.

Though it may appear that the Instagram algorithm favors certain big-name influencers and creators, all types of users are treated equally. Top influencers do have an advantage, however, because they tend to have more followers and more reach.

This also keeps content close to the top. As more followers engage with the content, it pushes it up in the feed, eliciting more engagement.

Regardless, quality is still key. No matter how big or active the account and its numbers, if the quality is poor, the creator won’t perform well.

Key Takeaways

Even with a shift back to the basics for the algorithm, there’s no magic bullet to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2022. However, brands and influencers who create engaging feed posts, Reels, and Stories consistently can create a genuine relationship with followers and maximize the content’s visibility.