• Jordan Lewis

The new Instagram algorithm explained

The new algorithm may be to blame for your lower post engagement, I’m here to show you how to beat it.

The Instagram Algorithm

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is always looking for ways to optimise their platform for users, both for creators and consumers. The algorithm is the formula and programming used by Instagram to carry out this optimization. This is who Instagram decided which posts are better or worse, and who your posts should be shown to get the most consumer satisfaction. As a business, Instagram is also looking to increase their profit margins, as well as looking for ways to grow their platform.

For the most part, they’ll use the algorithm to achieve these things. By tweaking it to favour specific types of posts, such as paid adverts, they can increase the number of accounts deciding to use PPC (Pay per click) advertising through Facebook Ads Manager or post promotions. Now that you understand the motivations and core objectives of Instagram, you should now be able to connect the dots as to why they would change a working algorithm.

Why has this algorithm led to a decrease in engagement? The short answer, it prioritises new metrics. What worked to boost your post engagement before the update may not work after. Also, there are some new factors taken into account that negatively impact your engagement. Many users simply aren’t aware of the new algorithm update, and why would you be if you aren’t constantly looking for it?

Fortunately for you, you don’t have to deal with the stress and pain of wondering why your quality content is getting less engagement than it deserves. I reveal all in this article, from the new metrics to actions you can take today to boost your engagement:


Engagement on a post adds up to form your ‘Engagement Score’, the higher it is, the more people your posts are shown to. Saving posts is more important than ever, they’re like ‘super likes’ and are worth 5 times normal likes.

Don’t edit your post, it resets your engagement score!

Take the time to engage with other accounts, especially those that interact with your competitors. By doing this, you boost your relationships, and potentially get another account regularly liking, commenting on, and saving your posts in return!

Followers and Following

Only follow and be followed by high-quality accounts, this means remove these types of accounts:

  • Following more than 500

  • No posts

  • Very few or no followers

  • Strange names and profile pictures

  • Large companies and organisations

When you have more followers, Instagram expects more engagement.


Instagram shows your posts more to accounts you interact with. This means like, comment, share and DM your followers, and your following to boost the chance they see your posts.


Instagram shows the most recent posts at the top of your feed. Post when most of your followers are active so they don’t miss it by not being online!


The new algorithm shows your posts to accounts that engage with similar posts to yours. Find out who engages with your competitors and engage with them, they’ll be more likely to follow you and see your posts.


Hashtags are a great tool to get your posts seen, but did you know that using the wrong hashtags can negatively affect your engagement? Make sure your hashtags are super relevant to your post, so it doesn’t get reported! If you use hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post, other accounts are likely to report your post. Even if your post isn’t taken down, this means that post gets seen to fewer accounts and therefore gets less engagement.

While you can use a maximum of 30 per post, this doesn’t always mean you should. 10 super relevant, niche hashtags are much more effective than 30 generic, randomly generated ones.

Once you’ve taken the actions in this article, give your account a couple of weeks to recover, then you should start seeing your engagement boost again.

Which tip did you find the most helpful? Which will you be using to boost your engagement?