algorithms of Facebook and Instagram

Understanding the algorithm of Facebook and Instagram

The algorithm for every social media platform is a closely guarded secret. The algorithm is the essence of the platform and no matter how hard you try, you might never completely understand it. But there are a few things Instagram and Facebook have revealed that can be really useful in planning what kind of content you should post. This is a comprehensive guide to the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram in 2020.


The social media platform used by 1 billion active users (as of June 2018) has been growing and some even believe it’ll surpass Facebook soon. Instagram changed its algorithm from chronological content to curated content which raised a lot of questions. Instagram did answer a lot of these questions but there’s still a lot of doubt.

algorithms of Facebook and Instagram

Instagram’s algorithm is based on machine learning which means that it changes very often to optimize the user experience. It might not be possible to learn every nuance, but there is one sure way to popularise your brand on this platform. Here’s how to understand Instagram’s algorithm 2020.

  1. Relationship: Brands with which the user interacts more i.e likes, comments, shares, and DMs are going to be ranked higher on the feed. This means that community engagement is key to making your brand more successful on Instagram.
  2. Interest: If the user has responded well to the content of the same kind, they are more likely to see it. This is an obvious one, creating content that is interesting and more of your target audience will respond to is going to boost visibility.
  3. Time: More recent posts rank higher in a user’s feed than old ones. To use this to your advantage, you must understand the time your target audience uses the platform most and post accordingly.

What does this mean for your brand? Building relationships with your users is the most important aspect. You can try to cheat the system but it won’t work in the long run. Transparency and sustainable posts are the only way to set up a long-lasting impression on your users and increase engagement on Instagram. 


Facebook- the social media platform that revolutionized the way the world works. With over 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an amazing opportunity to grow your brand visibility. With the infamous algorithm change of January 2018, it has become more difficult for brands to reach their audience. 

algorithms of Facebook and Instagram

To understand the Facebook algorithm, we need to understand these four points.

  1. Inventory: This is all of the available content on Facebook which includes posts from family, friends and groups you follow
  2. Signals: These are the pointers Facebook uses to decide what content should be ranked higher on the feed. Comments and likes on a post are most important, then comes engagement with audience, shares, content type, when it was posted, time spent on the content and how informative the post is.
  3. Predictions: Facebook uses past behaviour (what you reacted to and  liked, shared, commented on) to determine what to show the user first. They determine how likely you are to engage with a post and keep out of your way the posts you are not likely to interact with.
  4. Score: All these points are used to calculate a score for each post which determines its relevance. Higher the score, it’ll be ranked higher on the feed. 

With this score, the feed is ordered to each individual. This is unique to each user. How much their friends interacted with the post also comes into play. 

The most important part of understanding the Facebook algorithm is that it promotes posts from close friends and family over posts from brands. Content that is likely to generate conversations and the user is more likely to interact with is given a higher ranking.

So how do you use this algorithm for your brand? 

  1. Post content that is likely to generate conversations and boost engagement. 
  2. Do not post overly promotional posts, clickbait, or fake news.
  3. Post consistently
  4. Keep in mind the times when users use this platform the most and when they are more likely to engage

The algorithms for these social media platforms are still secrets but what we do know about them, brands can use to make sure they are reaching their audience. To find out more about this best-kept secrets, connect with Clevertize!

Clevertize is one of the Top Integrated Marketing Communication Agencies in India. It has worked with many national & international clients like eBay, Nando’s, David Lloyd UK, METRO Cash & Carry, Sobha Ltd., TATA Motors, Barbeque Nation to name a few. 

Clevertize is an Award Winning Agency, known to marry marketing with technology.

Some of the services that Clevertize provides are:

Creative Services, Performance & Digital Media Marketing, Visual Identity & Branding, Campaign Management & Analysis, UI/UX & Website design, Video creation, Media planning & buying, Chatbot & more.

If Return on Investment is critical for you, talk to Clevertize!

Anupama Anand

Copywriting Intern

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