We all know that Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok, and are designed to entertain you.
As with Explore, most of the content you see on Reels comes from accounts you don’t follow. The algorithm is similar to the Explore algorithm.
First, it collects Reels it thinks you might like and then order them based on how relevant it thinks they are to you. When it comes to Reels, the focus is on what you find entertaining. Did you know that Instagram will randomly survey people and ask whether they find a particular reel entertaining or funny?
It then uses this information to share more tailored content.
The most important signals including your activity
Which Reels do you: like, comment on, interact with. This helps the algorithm understand what content might be relevant to you. Basically, if you have interacted with an account it signals that you might be interested in what they shared.
Information about the Reel
This includes details about the content like the audio track, technical details about the video including pixels and frames, and then the video popularity.
Instagram Considers the popularity of content as a signal that others will find it compelling. Likewise, the same guidelines that apply to Explore also apply to Reels. They also recommend avoiding posting reels that are low-resolution or watermarked.
Reels about political issues or produced by politicians, political parties, or government officials or on their behalf typically don’t get as much reach others.
Is “Shadowbanning” Real?
People often accuse Instagram of “shadowbanning” or silencing their accounts on the platform. It has become a broad term that is used to describe many different experiences. IMO Instagram hasn’t done the best job explaining why they take down content, or even what’s considered “good” content, causing users to come to their own conclusions about why something did or didn’t happen.
Have you ever heard of users saying their posts getting fewer likes or comments because they’ve been “shadowbanned”? Instagram has said that most of your followers won’t see what you share.
Not because they’re being hidden, but because most look at less than half of their Feed.
In a promise of more transparency, they’re developing better in-app notifications. This will let users know at the moment why, their post was taken down, and let people know their post goes against their Recommendations Guidelines.