Instagram Algorithm Explained: Reels

Okay, Just now when you read the word “Reels” you either got super hyped or cringed, there’s no in-between. Reels continues to be one of the most controversial love/hate features of Instagram.

August 5th, 2020 Instagram released the “tik-tok rival” feature- Reels

With this new feature, Instagram users can record up to 60 seconds of video millions of music songs and audio clips and well as the ability to record audio from their phone.

When asked about how Instagram is prioritizing reels, Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) says “It’s all about fun and content that is really fun and engaging. Things that factor here is how quickly and how many people have a reaction? Are people excited to see it? Let’s get it out to more people.” Since then, Instagram has communicated repeatedly since then about their push for video content, especially in short-form.

Which brings us to understanding the Instagram Reels algorithms… let’s go!

If you’ve missed the previous breakdowns, no worries! 

Okay. Caught up? Let’s go!

While Stories and the Feed are most ranked by interaction with that person, Reels are most similar to the Feed. The purpose of Instagram Reels is to display NEW discoverable content

The breakdown:

  1. Reels are designed to entertain. As a direct competitor of TikTok and with short-form video content on the rise, Instagram has created Reels as a form of content to keep users entertained
  2. The algorithms consider the information about the post. Example: what is the length of video that you prefer to watch
  3. They consider information about the value of the post. How many likes, comments, etc…
  4. As well as speed value. How quickly are others reacting?
  5. And of course, your history with that account. Do you interact with this person a lot?

Tips from top Creators:

  1. You don’t have to hop on trends. “Just because they are trending does not mean that they are on-brand. Be authentic to you”
  2. Remake trends in your own way. “Do them in your own way & more creatively, your followers want to see YOU”
  3. Use trending audio to connect. “People engage because they feel instant recognition”

Key takeaways: 🔑

  1. For more views, keep your video length short. The shorter reels (closer to the 15 second mark) will get more repeated views and boost the ranking
  2. Increase visibility. Reels are great for exposure and the largest benefit is helping you grow your audience
  3. Reels can help you find new followers and accounts. Use this feature to increase your reach and attract new followers & potential clients!

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