Decoding the Algorithm: How Does ‘Following’ Work on Instagram?

how does following work on instagram

Decoding the Algorithm: How Does ‘Following’ Work on Instagram?

In the world of social media, Instagram has become one of the most popular platforms for sharing photos and videos.
With millions of active users, it’s essential to understand how its algorithm works, especially when it comes to the
‘following’ feature. In this article, we will explore the inner workings of Instagram’s algorithm and unravel the
mystery behind how ‘following’ works.

The Basics of Following

When you ‘follow’ someone on Instagram, it means you have chosen to subscribe to their content updates.
By doing so, their posts will appear on your feed, allowing you to stay up-to-date with their latest uploads.
Following someone also enables you to engage with their content by liking, commenting, and sharing.

Instagram’s Algorithm and Following

Instagram’s algorithm plays a significant role in determining the content that appears on your feed.
The algorithm tailors the feed to each user’s preferences and interests, aiming to maximize engagement and user satisfaction.
When it comes to the ‘following’ feature, the algorithm analyzes various factors to decide which posts to display.

Relevance of Content

The algorithm examines the relevance of the content shared by the accounts you follow.
It takes into account the topics, styles, and engagement rates of the posts to determine their suitability for your feed.
If you consistently engage with a particular type of content, the algorithm will prioritize similar posts from the accounts
you follow, ensuring you receive content that aligns with your interests.

Engagement with Accounts

Instagram’s algorithm also considers your engagement history with the accounts you follow.
If you frequently like, comment, and share posts from specific accounts, the algorithm will recognize your affinity towards
those accounts. Consequently, it will prioritize their content to ensure you don’t miss out on updates from your favorite creators.

Recency of Posts

The algorithm takes into account the recency of posts to ensure you receive the most current content.
It considers the time at which posts were uploaded, favoring recent uploads over older ones. This ensures that you are
up-to-date with the latest posts from the accounts you follow.


Instagram’s ‘following’ feature is driven by a complex algorithm that aims to provide users with the most relevant and
engaging content. By analyzing the relevance of content, your engagement with specific accounts, and the recency of posts,
Instagram’s algorithm tailors your feed to suit your interests. Understanding how the algorithm works can help you make the
most out of your Instagram experience.


1. Can I control what appears on my Instagram feed?

While you cannot have complete control over your feed, you can influence it. By engaging with the content you prefer,
such as liking and commenting on specific posts, Instagram’s algorithm learns your preferences and adjusts your feed accordingly.

2. Will the accounts I follow always appear on my feed?

Instagram’s algorithm strives to show you content from the accounts you follow. However, due to various factors, such as
the recency and relevance of posts, it is possible to miss some updates. To ensure you don’t miss out, you can visit the
profiles of the accounts you follow directly.

3. How often does Instagram update its algorithm?

Instagram constantly works on refining its algorithm to improve user experience. Updates to the algorithm are made
periodically to enhance the relevance and quality of content displayed on users’ feeds.

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