How to Unlock Instagram Algorithm



Have you ever wondered how Instagram chooses what posts to show you in the Explore Page?

In this article, we’ll quickly dissect the algorithm behind the Instagram Explore page, as well as three tactics you can put into action right away to get the most out of the Explore Page algorithm.

The Explore Page on Instagram shows you posts based on two factors:

  1. Posts you’ve liked
  2. Posts liked by people whose photos and videos you’ve liked

1.Posts you’ve liked

This is one self-explanatory – the Explore Page will show you posts similar to posts you have already Liked.

Example: if you Like a lot of music-related photos, the Explore Page will show you posts related to music.

2. Posts liked by people whose photos and videos you’ve liked

When you Like a post, the Explore Page will show you posts Liked by the person who uploaded the original post you Liked.

Example: if you Like Beyoncé ’s post, the Explore Page will show you posts she liked.

By understanding the algorithms behind your feed, search results and Explore page, you can produce the best possible results with the least amount of energy on Instagram. Now, here are 3 things you can do right now to unlock the Instagram Explore Page algorithm:

  1. Tag relevant people in your posts

What better way to get someone’s attention than by tagging their username in your posts? Anyone you tag will get a notification that they’ve been tagged in a post, and we all know how enticing that bright red notification can be… And tagging doesn’t have to only include your friends.

Many businesses on Instagram are constantly looking for new content related to their brand. The way they do this is by searching for posts they’re tagged in. Businesses then often repost these tagged posts on their own pages.

Why would you want to be reposted by a business? Because it introduces your Instagram page to the businesses followers, which can translate to thousands, if not tens of thousands more potential eyes on your content.

When a business’s followers see your post and engage with it, your post then has the chance to show up on the Explore Page of every single person following the person that engaged with your post.

Magnify this by however many people engage with your post, and you significantly increase your chance of showing up on Explore Pages across Instagram.

With this in mind, whenever you create a post where there is a specific product (clothing you’re wearing, supplement you’re using, camera you’re using, etc.), tag the brand in your post to potentially get reposted on their page.

  1. Include Calls-to-Action (CTAs) in your captions, comments, and DMs

What is more likely to produce a Like or comment on your post – asking to leave a Like or comment on your post, or not doing it?

The first one, obviously. While it isn’t guaranteed to produce any more Likes and comments than you would normally get, the second option is guaranteed to not produce any additional Likes and/or comments because you’re not even asking in the first place.

Here are some good examples of CTAs:

  • Encourage followers to tag their friends
    • “Tag three friends in this post for a chance to be featured!”
  • Ask easy-to-answer questions
    • “What are you wearing today?”
  • Point them to your bio (or wherever you want their attention)
    • “Click the link in the bio for more info!”
  • Ask for suggestions
    • “Going to Tokyo next month – what are your must eat sushi places?”
  • Create anticipation ”
    • I can’t wait to show you what we’re dropping tomorrow! Stay tuned!”

Including a CTA in your post captions, comments and DMs are a great way to capture engagement that might otherwise not happen. The more engagement, and therefore more people that engage with your posts, the more you will show up on Explore Pages.

  1. Engage with right people

The more people you engage with, the more people will see you exist. The more people know you exist, the more people will potentially visit your page, and therefore the more people will potentially engage with your posts.

The key is engaging with the right people to get as much visibility as possible. You only want to engage with people who are likely to be interested in what you do.

To accomplish this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Think of three main keywords related to your Instagram page and search them on Instagram
  2. Go the “Tags” tab in the search results and write down all the major hashtags (more than 50,000 posts) that result from your search
  3. Explore each of these hashtags one-by-one and scroll horizontally across the related hashtags for more ideas

This way, you are only engaging with people in your niche who are more likely to enjoy and engage with your posts than people outside of your niche.

Remember, the more people that engage with your posts, the more potential Explore Pages your posts will show up on.

Above is only how the Instagram Explore Page algorithm works. If you’re interested in how the Instagram Feed and Search Result Algorithm works, as well as 18 more ways to unlock the full potential of Instagram’s algorithm, read this guide here.

Author Bio:

This post is a guest post by Sam Morrison. Sam is Chief Editor at – a blog aimed at simplifying social media marketing practices for small businesses and everyday people.

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