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Instagram Shares New Overviews of the Key Ranking Factors for Feed Posts, Stories and Reels

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Instagram Will Now Reduce the Reach of Posts That are 'Likely' to Contain Bullying of Hate Speech

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Looking to get a better handle on the key factors that define the reach of your posts on Instagram?

Last year, Instagram provided an in-depth overview of the various elements that it factors in when deciding how to rank feed posts, Stories and Reels in each users’ feed. Now, Instagram has also published some quick overviews of those factors, so you can keep them in mind as you go about building your platform strategy.

First off, the key ranking factors for feed posts and Stories, which are:

For further context, this is how Instagram outlined each element in June last year:

  • Information about the post – These are signals both about how popular a post is – think how many people have liked it – and more mundane information about the content itself, like when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video, and what location, if any, was attached to it.
  • Information about the person who posted – This helps us get a sense for how interesting the person might be to you, and includes signals like how many times people have interacted with that person in the past few weeks.
  • Your activity – This helps us understand what you might be interested in and includes signals such as how many posts you’ve liked.
  • Your history of interacting with someone – This gives us a sense of how interested you are generally in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

Reels has its own algorithm, as Instagram works to compete with TikTok. The TikTok algorithm is highly attuned to user interests, and will quickly shift to show you more of what you’re interested in as you scroll through the app, and Instagram’s developing its Reels algorithm along similar lines.

Instagram Reels algorithm

Note that the focus elements are re-ordered for Reels, so that your activity in the Reels stream is the primary element, as opposed to information about the post and the post author, as it is in the main feed.

More from IG:

  • Your activity – We look at things like which reels you’ve liked, commented on, and engaged with recently. These signals help us to understand what content might be relevant to you.
  • Your history of interacting with the person who posted – Like in Explore, it’s likely the video was made by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you have interacted with them that gives us a sense of how interested you might be in what they shared.
  • Information about the reel – These are signals about the content within the video such as the audio track, video understanding based on pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.
  • Information about the person who posted – We consider popularity to help find compelling content from a wide array of people and give everyone a chance to find their audience.

Instagram hasn’t provided any new insight with these quick overviews, but it is worth noting the variances, and it could be handy to keep these lists nearby as you consider how to maximize your Instagram content performance.

You can read more about Instagram’s ranking algorithms here.



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UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner

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Molly Russell was exposed to online material 'that may have influenced her in a negative way'

Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG

A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.

Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.

The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.

Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.

Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.

“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.

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“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.

“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.

The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.

A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.

“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.

Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.

Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.

Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.

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“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.

“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.

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