If you’ve ever wondered how Instagram decides what to show you on your Explore page or what factors influence how certain posts show up in your Stories or Feed, the tech giant has some answers. Instagram users have been sharing their own theories about what influences the app’s algorithm — but in a June 8 blog post, Instagram head Adam Mosseri shed some light on exactly how Instagram decides what you see. Here’s what to keep in mind if you want to change your Instagram Feed or Explore page.
One of the biggest revelations from Mosseri’s blog post is that there’s no one algorithm that influences the content that shows up on your Instagram or the order in which posts appear. While this might be disappointing for users who want to crack the Instagram code, Mosseri explains you still have a lot of control over what you see. The app picks what you see and don’t see based on how you use Instagram and the kinds of content and profiles you interact with.
Instagram ranks Feed and Stories posts separately from Reels and Explore content, but in general, it takes into account how popular a post is, your past activity, how much you interact with certain accounts, and user information determine how likely you are to interact with any content. However, Instagram also revealed it tinkers with its algorithm to avoid showing too many posts from one account in a row, and the app also steps in when it comes to accounts that share misinformation or regularly violate the app’s community guidelines.
If you want to have more control over what you see, you have to be more intentional about what content and accounts you choose to interact with on the app. More specifically, Instagram recommends you pick a list of Close Friends for your Stories, as this will help bring up these users’ content earlier in both your Instagram Feed and Stories. Similarly, if you don’t want to see someone’s content (but don’t want to unfollow them), you can mute their Story or posts — or both without them knowing.
To do so, go to their Instagram account, and tap “Following,” which is on the left side of the screen with a little down arrow icon, and then tap “Mute.” From there, you can choose exactly what content you don’t want to see.
When it comes to your Explore page, you can also show you don’t like a recommendation and want to avoid similar content in the future by tapping the three dots at the top right corner of the post and select “Not Interested.”
To learn more about how Instagram has been fine-tuning its algorithm so you’re seeing more of what you actually want to see, you can check out Instagram’s full blog post.