Instagram Reels Algorithm Guide: How Does it Work?

If you’re someone who loves exploring social media intricacies, chances are you’ve delved into our comprehensive guide on cracking the code of the Instagram algorithm, all in pursuit of boosting engagement for your career as creator through Instagram.

But, if you’re specifically aiming to make a big splash with your Instagram Reels, it’s vital to understand that this captivating feature operates under its very own algorithm.

So, get ready to roll up your sleeves and step into the arena.

What Are Instagram Reels?

repost instagram reels

Introduced in 2020 to rival TikTok, Instagram Reels are snappy, bite-sized videos.

They provide creators with user-friendly editing tools to play with effects, filters, merge multiple shots, and groove to music snippets, all while crafting captivating and enjoyable Instagram Reels within a matter of minutes.

Notably, unlike Instagram Stories, these gems don’t vanish after 24 hours.

However, akin to the entire Instagram ecosystem, regardless of your video’s brilliance, your shot at viral stardom rests in the hands of the all-powerful Instagram algorithm—a concealed code that determines whether your creation gets thrust into the limelight or languishes in the shadows.

Here’s a dive into the inner workings of the Instagram Reels algorithm and strategic insights to ensure this not-so-hidden recipe turns the tide in your favor.

How Does the Instagram Reels Algorithm Work?

The Instagram Reels algorithm takes on the role of matchmaker, deciding which Reels find their way to each Instagram user’s feed.

While your feed will naturally display Reels from accounts you follow, there are two additional avenues for encountering Reels created by other users and brands:

  • The Reels Tab: This is Instagram’s rendition of the beloved TikTok For You page. By tapping the Reels icon at the base of the Instagram app’s home screen, you gain access to an infinite scroll of Reels, cherry-picked by the algorithm.
  • The Explore Tab: Explore is another hotspot for Reels, nestled alongside Instagram Posts and Stories—a curated collection courtesy of the Instagram algorithm.

Here are 4 factors that influence the placement and timing of Reels’ appearances.

1. Building Relationships

Beyond gauging your interactions with content, the Instagram algorithm pays keen attention to your interactions with other users.

Do they follow you? Search for you by name? Exchange messages or comments? Tag each other in posts? If you’re someone’s Insta BFF or superfan, Instagram is more likely to serve up your newest creation to them promptly.

That being said, even with Reels and Explore, videos from unfamiliar creators can find their way to you. If you’ve interacted with them before, even as a silent observer (wave those hands high and proud, fellow lurkers!), Instagram takes note.

2. Content Relevance

Instagram keeps tabs on your interests—an eloquent term for “what tickles your fancy.” If you’ve liked or interacted with a Reel or post in the past, Instagram takes note of the subject or theme, striving to serve you similar content.

So, how does the AI decipher a video’s essence? It’s a blend of your Instagram Reels hashtags and an analysis of pixels, frames, and audio.

In a nutshell: Watching dogs dunking basketballs leads to more doggie basketball action. It’s the cycle of life at play, and it’s truly enchanting.

3. Timeliness

The algorithm gives precedence to fresh content over dusty Reels from the archives. Just as you crave the latest happenings, so do the algorithmic deities. Keep those new drops flowing!

4. Popularity Matters

An engaged audience and consistently appreciated content send a signal to Instagram that you possess something unique and likable.

Sure, it might seem like a paradox—you need a certain level of popularity to achieve further popularity. However, Instagram is all about championing quality content. If you’ve already earned a reputation for creating exceptional stuff, the app showers its blessings upon you.

More on Eklipse Blog >> 5 Reels Online Video Editors – Best Free Alternatives


And there you have it—a comprehensive insight into the realm of the Instagram Reels algorithm. Armed with this knowledge, you’re poised to steer your Reels towards greater visibility and engagement. So, go on, dazzle the algorithm and leave your mark in the ever-evolving universe of Instagram Reels!

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