On June 8, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri decided to shed more light on How Instagram Works. This is an attempt to explain to users how their favorite photos and video-sharing platform works.
Moreover, Mosseri has tried to debunk a slew of misconceptions about Instagram in the post. This will be the first in a series of posts that will continue to explain how Instagram’s technology works and its impact on the overall user experience.
After its launch in 2010, Instagram became a popular way for netizens to connect with friends, family, brands, leaders, celebrities, and more. The platform offers an impressive array of features such as live streaming, and short-form videos.
How do Instagram algorithms work?
Instagram is bent on clearing the misconception surrounding “The Algorithm.” In his post, Mosseri said that Instagram doesn’t have one algorithm that monitors people’s action, and don’t see on the app.
The company uses multiple algorithms, processes, and classifiers, each with its own purpose. Moreover, the company believes adopting technology to offer a personalized experience is the best way to make the most of users’ time.
Instagram was originally a single stream of photos in chronological order. However, with more people joining, it became harder for most people to see everything. So, the company introduced a Feed that showcased posts based on a user’s preference.
Instagram’s Feed, Explore, Reels uses its own algorithm adjusted to how people use it. People looked for their closest friends in Stories, and want to discover something new in Explore. As a result, Instagram decided to rank things differently in different parts of the app.
How Instagram ranks Feed, Stories, and Explore?
How Feed and Stories work can be split into steps. First off, the company starts defining the set of things it wants to place in the first place. There are some exceptions such as ads, but most of what a user sees is shared by people they follow.
There are some signals across Feed and Stories based on the order of importance. These include details about the post, information about the person who posted it, and how many people liked it.
Likewise, Explore was designed to help users discover new things. The grid encompasses recommendations, photos, and videos recommended by Instagram. This is very different from Feed and Stories.
Instagram predicts various important actions in Explore including likes, saves, and shares. The most important signals are information about the post, a user’s history of interacting with the person who posted, a user’s activity, and details about the person who posted.
In addition to that, Mosseri revealed how Instagram ranks Reels and addressed accusations of shadowbanning, or silencing some users. Moreover, he divulged details about how Instagram users can influence what they see.