How Instagram Search Works With The New Algorithm


The search engine algorithm in Instagram is going through a lot of changes. Being skilled with Instagram search is key to utilising the platform for your business promotion. Instagram is long regarded as a great social media platform for sales conversion, branding and business promotion. 

For any social media marketing agency, Instagram comes as a superb marketing platform thanks to its user-centric search feature. The search feature of Instagram is very effective to help a brand get in touch with like-minded users. Besides, the platform also helps a brand understand the new Instagram accounts that should be followed. But getting the most out of this feature is key to successful Instagram marketing. 


How Does The Instagram Search Function Work? 

how Instagram algorithm decides what content to show people

Are you looking for leading Instagram marketing services to stay ahead of the competition with your content strategy? Well, for this it is important to know how does the search function in Instagram work.   

Instagram offers a  standalone ‘discover’ section through which a business can find images from various accounts that it doesn't follow. This section is through which the Instagram algorithm actually works to discover content. The section with a powerful and intuitive algorithm works much like Google image search. But just because of using precise Instagram tags with images, the content cannot be duplicated by another platform. 

What users see in the Instagram feed is determined by six key factors such as interest, timeliness, relationship, frequency, following, and usage. Let us explain how each of these factors really works. 

  • Interest: An Instagram user sees the posts from other users and brands that he follows on Instagram. Among them the people and brands that post frequently get more views than others. 
  • Freshness: Latest posts come at first followed by others according to their timing on the news feed.  
  • Relationship: The posts from anyone in your close circle of acquaintances in real life will have priority in your news feed. 
  • Frequency: People in your Instagram friendliest who post frequently are likely to get more viewership than people who post once in a long while. 
  • Following: The more followers a user or business account gets, the more viewership it is likely to receive. Accounts with a lot of private followers and content will not get a lot of viewers as Instagram mainly focuses on public followers and content. 
  • Usage: The least accessed and rarely used Instagram accounts have fewer chances to be viewed by users. The frequent users will get more traction with their Instagram accounts. 


How Does The Instagram Algorithm Really Make A Difference In Instagram Search? 

how Instagram ranking algorithm works on explore

Instagram's algorithm over the years underwent many changes. For example, the platform came recently with a new people search feature helping us to find particular posts without looking for hashtags. Besides using hashtags you can search for just a username as well.  

How can you see your Instagram account gain more visibility and get to the top of the search engine on the Instagram app or Instagram web search results? Well, just consider the following tips to make this happen. 

  • Post only high-quality photos: Instagram is powered by machine learning technology that over time learns about the most engaging content for the users and followers. Since Instagram users look for visual content, posting quality images enhances your chances of getting maximum views. 
  • Make the right image captions: Captions along with images also can make a considerable impact on the users. So, improve your captions for search through the use of relevant hashtags as well as location tags. Apart from this, you can use a call-to-action button following the caption to boost further user interactions. 
  • Use appropriate hashtags: Hashtags provide another effective way for the Instagram platform to find and showcase relevant content to like-minded users. By using relevant hashtags in captions you can improve the chances of user engagement. 
  • Optimise the account: Apart from taking things to different levels, consider giving a complete makeover to your brand’s Instagram presence by optimising Instagram Stories, profiles, hashtag search, Explore pages, hashtag pages, and all other means. 

The above-mentioned tips fairly represent the basic and elementary norms to improve your traction on the Instagram platform. Most of the leading social media marketing services will tell you to begin with these tips and steps to make your Instagram presence a fruitful one. 


How To Make The Instagram Algorithm Work For Your Brand? Key Tips To Consider

In the above, we have discussed the basic and elementary tips that can make your brand gain more traction with an Instagram account. Having explained them, let us declare here that they are just not enough to influence the Instagram search algorithm and gain more traction. Here we will provide tested and tried measures to make Instagram algorithms favour your brand. 

Focus On Having A Result-Driven Hashtag Strategy

Hashtags refer to the most commonly used means that Instagram users use to browse and find content. Hashtags are used to find particular images, audiovisual media or just other Instagram accounts. Hashtags are the most useful tools for Instagram users to discover and find content. 

Now users can make use of hashtags on Instagram in the following ways. 

  • The first and most common way to use hashtags is to incorporate hashtags within the post caption so that users searching for content with the hashtags can discover the respective content. 
  • Another way to use hashtags after the Instagram post is shared. This method will help users to type hashtags in the search bar and find your content. Relevance of hashtags matters here most and there is less assurance of boosting visibility through this method.

Drive User Engagement 

There is no better way to market on social media platforms than to drive user engagement. The first principle to boost user engagement is to choose the peak hours for posting. There is an algorithm that uses a “heat score” method to find content with the highest engagement in a day. When you post during off-peak hours, you can actually lose a lot of your potential viewers.

In case you are not available at peak hours, you can always schedule the posts for peak hours. This is tested and tried measure to engage more people with your content. Generally, Instagram has peak hours between 9 a.m to 3 p.m. on all weekdays.

Make Use Of Relevant Analytics And Automation Tools 

Instagram is a highly competitive platform and hence you need to keep a sharp eye on the key performance indicators and analytics results. You can always utilise third-party analytics tools for evaluating the performance of your Instagram posts. 

When you are not getting desired reactions and interactions through likes and comments, you may need to tweak the content strategy a little. To make sure you never miss a trending topic for maximum outreach, always use Instagram post scheduling to the best of your advantage. 



All new Search algorithms for Instagram in 2021 brought a major change to the content discovery and corresponding content and hashtag strategies. Since the new feature actually made it easier for the users to find their required content, there will be increased brand presence ensuring more competition than ever before. 

Instagram for many years has proved to be tremendously effective in driving traffic to particular stores and local businesses across the niches. In the years to come, the dominance of Instagram as a key discovery tool for products and services will continue to grow. How well you can utilise the tips and measures we mentioned here will be decisive for your brand’s Instagram success. 

Khushboo Jobanputra
Khushi Jobanputra
Khushi Jobanputra is an Experienced Digital Marketing Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.

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