The Instagram algorithm determines the order of posts that users see on their feed. While the exact workings are not publicly disclosed, here's a general understanding:
1. Relevance: The algorithm analyzes user behavior, including past engagements, to predict which posts are most relevant to an individual user.
2. Interest: It evaluates the user's interests based on their interactions with similar content and prioritizes posts that align with those interests.
3. Relationship: The algorithm considers the relationships between users, giving higher priority to posts from accounts with whom the user frequently engages (e.g., likes, comments, messages).
4. Recency: Recent posts are generally given more visibility to ensure users see fresh content. However, this doesn't mean it strictly follows chronological order.
5. Usage: Instagram considers how much time users spend on the app and aims to show them the most engaging content to keep them on the platform longer.
6. Direct Shares: Posts that are shared directly with a user through private messages tend to receive higher visibility within that user's feed.
Engagement metrics like likes, comments, saves, and shares play a significant role in determining the popularity of a post and may influence its visibility in users' feeds. It's important to note that Instagram regularly updates and refines its algorithm, so specific details and factors may change over time.