Looking to get a better handle on how Instagram’s feed algorithms work, and how you can optimize your content approach accordingly?
You’re in luck – today, Instagram has published a new overview of how it ranks content for its ‘Suggested Posts’, or the posts that you see in your Home feed from accounts that you don’t follow in the app.
This element became a key focus recently, after Instagram began inserting a lot more AI-based content recommendations into user feeds, which prompted widespread user backlash, and has since seen IG scale it back, as it works to refine its algorithms. But even with that shift, Instagram does see AI recommendations as a key element of its future, and in maximizing user engagement.
In other words, even if you’re not seeing as many recommendations in your home feed right now, they will be ramping up again sometime soon.
So how does Instagram select which additional content to show you in your Home feed? Here are some insights:
First off, Instagram’s engineering team outlines the focus of its recommendation system, and underlines the key aims of its approach:
Whether people actually want an automated system to do this work for them is another question entirely, but the intended aim is to replicate human discovery with AI features, in order to enhance user engagement.
That then sees Instagram’s post recommendations fall into two categories – ‘Connected’ and ‘Unconnected’, with the latter being the posts that Instagram’s systems find and highlight, based on your interests.
The process, as you would expect, is largely based on implicit signals – i.e. actions you’ve directly taken in the app, like following and liking posts. But it can also extend to the people you follow, and what they like, as a proxy for direct engagement, while some popular posts are also highlighted based on overall engagement.
But these elements are more related to its Explore surface – in the Home feed, the aim is to replicate the feel of the posts and profiles that you’ve chosen to follow, in order to make it increasingly familiar.
“Scrolling through the End of Feed Recommendations should feel like scrolling down an extension of Instagram Home Feed.”
That’s important to note – the recommendations that Instagram wants you to see in your main feed should closely replicate the accounts that you follow, down to the types of posts they share. At the same time, Instagram’s also trying to insert more and more video – specifically Reels – into user feeds, which is another factor in its more recent experiments.
But the aim, as noted, is to build more directly on your stated interests, as opposed to simply adding in the latest trending content.
So how does Instagram do that?
“In order to ensure that our recommendations feel similar to posts in Home Feed we prioritize accounts that are similar to accounts a user encounters in Home.
Key points for marketers:
There’s not a heap of nuggets to latch onto here, but the key point is that Instagram wants its Home feed recommendations to feel familiar to each user, so it’s less about highlighting the latest viral hits from across the app, and more about aligning with each users’ explicit interests.
That, in itself, could be very valuable insight for your IG approach.
You can read the full research post here.
Source: www.socialmediatoday.com, originally published on 2022-08-12 15:31:53