Instagram’s algorithm is responsible for what content is shown to you on the platform. But how does the Instagram algorithm for reels work?

In recent years, Instagram has focused its platform very heavily on the short video format Reels. This is how the app was able to develop from a photo to a video platform.

How does Instagram choose which reels to show you? We explain what is important here and how the Instagram algorithm works.

Reels are meant to entertain you

Instagram designed its algorithm for Reels so that “you can discover new content,” as CEO Adam Mosseri explains in a blog post. Above all, the focus is on the entertainment value.

So that you can also find as much “new content” as possible here, most of the reels come from accounts that you are not yet following. Instagram first looks for the reels that you might like and then sorts them according to the likelihood of how interesting you might find them.

In order to obtain this information, Instagram conducts surveys. Here, for example, users should assess whether a particular reel was worth their time or whether they enjoyed it.

How does the Instagram algorithm for reels work?

However, Instagram also includes other factors for the probability calculation. This includes the probability of you splitting a reel or watching it to the end. But your click on “Like” also influences the ranking.

As with the feed or Instagram stories, individual signals determine the order of the suggestions curated for you.

Your activity and interactions

Your activities are at the forefront of these signals. Here, Instagram looks in particular at which reels you have recently marked with “Like”. But saving, sharing or commenting also gives Instagram information about what content you might like.

Instagram also looks at your interaction history with the person who shared the reel. It is highly likely that you will only see reels from unknown creators. However, it is also important for the Instagram algorithm whether you have already interacted with the creator.

Other signals over which you have no control

But not only your activities on Instagram influence the algorithm that displays reels for you. The audio track or the visual elements in the video also count in the evaluation.

The last signal Instagram looks at is related to the person who posted the reel. The number of followers or the interaction rate are taken into account here.

Instagram will most likely not show you these reels

But Instagram doesn’t just look at what content it can show you. Content is also deliberately not displayed. Instagram wants to prevent users from encountering problematic content.

The basis for this are the guidelines for recommendations, which, among other things, restricted the recommendation of content that glorifies violence. But this also includes content in which people smoke, for example.

However, Instagram also limits the visibility of reels if the videos have too low a resolution or contain a watermark. Also, reels with no sound or borders are less preferred.

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