Cracking the Code: How the Instagram Reels Algorithm Works

By: Val Razo

Last Updated on July 10, 2023 by Val Razo

Instagram has been a popular platform for sharing images and videos for years. However, with the rise of short-form video content, Instagram launched a new feature in 2020 called Instagram Reels. In this blog post, we’ll explore the inner workings of the Instagram Reels algorithm and what it takes to maximize your visibility on the platform.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a short-form video feature that allows users to create and share 15-60 second videos set to music, with a variety of editing tools. Reels can be found on the Explore page and in the Reels tab on Instagram profiles.

How does the algorithm work?

The Instagram Reels algorithm is designed to surface the most relevant and engaging content to users. It takes into account various factors such as the popularity of the video, the engagement it receives, and the user’s activity on the platform. The algorithm is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices for creating high-quality Reels content.

Importance of Reels engagement

Engagement on Instagram Reels is crucial for building a strong and active community, boosting visibility, and increasing your reach. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, creating interactive content, and using relevant hashtags to drive interaction and help grow your Reel’s popularity.

Reels views and engagement

The Reels algorithm prioritizes videos with high engagement, including likes, comments, and shares. This means that the more engagement your Reels receive, the more visibility they will have on the platform.

Reels as a growth tool

In addition to visibility, Reels can also be a powerful tool for growing your audience on Instagram. By consistently creating high-quality content and engaging with your audience, you can drive more followers and increase your reach on the platform.

Factors affecting Reels algorithm

The Reels algorithm on Instagram is influenced by several factors, including user engagement, content relevance, consistency, and originality. The algorithm also takes into account the timeliness of the content, the use of trending hashtags, and the size and activity level of the audience.

Reels content

The quality of your Reels content is one of the biggest factors that affects the performance of your videos in the algorithm. This includes aspects such as the visual appeal, audio quality, and relevance to your audience.

User behavior and engagement

The engagement that your Reels receive from your audience is another key factor that affects the algorithm. This includes likes, comments, and shares, as well as the amount of time that users spend watching your videos.

How to optimize Reels for better visibility

Creating relevant content

To maximize the visibility of your Reels, it’s important to create content that is relevant and appealing to your target audience. This means understanding your audience’s interests and creating content that speaks to those interests.

Engaging with your audience

Engaging with your audience is also crucial for optimizing your Reels for better visibility. Respond to comments, like and share content from other users, and use hashtags to increase the visibility of your content. By fostering a community and building relationships with your followers, you can increase the engagement on your Reels and improve your visibility on the platform.

Best practices for using Instagram Reels

To make the most of Instagram Reels, create engaging and creative content, use relevant hashtags, collaborate with other users, post consistently, and interact with your audience. These best practices can help increase visibility and drive engagement on your Reels.

Consistency and frequency

Consistently posting high-quality Reels on a regular basis is crucial for success on the platform. This not only helps you build a following, but it also helps keep your audience engaged and interested in your content.

Utilizing hashtags and trending topics

Using relevant hashtags and participating in trending topics can also help increase the visibility of your Reels. This makes it easier for users to discover your content and helps you reach a wider audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you beat the Instagram reel algorithm?

This is how you can succeed in beating the Instagram Reel Algorithm:

  • Share Instagram Reels Consistently.
  • Encourage Interactions with Instagram Stories Stickers.
  • Drive Conversations with Engaging Captions.
  • Add Hashtags and Keywords to Your Posts.
  • Cross-promote Your Instagram Content.
  • Use Instagram Analytics to See What’s Working.

What makes Instagram reels go viral?

What makes Instagram reels go viral is the application of relevant hashtags and high-quality content. The Instagram algorithm tracks the posts and interests of users, using this information to determine which hashtags will optimize a Reel’s reach. The higher the quality of the video, the more likely it is to be shared among targeted users and become a trending topic.

How does Instagram choose who sees your reels?

Who can see and share your Reels is determined by your account’s privacy settings. For public accounts, anyone on Instagram and Facebook can see and share your Reels, and people may see your Reels on places such as the Reels tab, effects, hashtag, and audio pages.

How do Instagram reels get so many views?

Instagram reels get so many views due to their popularity among users. When a sound becomes particularly popular, many users create Reels with that sound. The Instagram algorithm notices the increased frequency of this type of video in a user’s feed and adds more of these videos, contributing to the overall popularity of the sound and the Reels featuring it.

How do I increase my reel reach?

  • Top Tips on Increasing the Reel Reach:
  • Create Valuable Content for Your Audience.
  • Use Popular Audio Tracks in Your Reels.
  • Create Reels Under 10 Seconds.
  • Embed Instagram Video Feeds on Your Website.
  • Add Relevant Hashtags.
  • Post When Your Followers are Most Active.
  • Run a Viral Giveaway.
  • Ask Questions in Your Captions.

What is the best time to post a reel?

Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram is 9 AM and 12 PM

Our research shows that the best time to post Reels is 9 AM and 12 PM, Monday to Thursday.

Can a reel go viral days later?

Yes, a reel can go viral days later with a Featured Pick!

Once you’ve posted your Reel, your goal should be to get it featured. This way, your video will appear at the top of the Explore page for thousands of users, even days after posting.


The Instagram Reels algorithm is designed to surface the most relevant and engaging content to users, and understanding how it works is key to maximizing your visibility on the platform. By creating relevant content, engaging with your audience, and following best practices, you can drive more views and engagement on your Reels and grow your audience on Instagram.

The benefits of using Instagram Reels

In conclusion, using Instagram Reels can provide numerous benefits for your online presence. By creating and sharing high-quality, relevant content, you can increase your visibility and reach on the platform, engage with your audience, and ultimately grow your following. With its constantly evolving algorithm and its focus on short-form video content, Instagram Reels is an essential tool for anyone looking to build a strong online presence on the platform.

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Author Bio

Val Razo

Val Razo is a skilled professional in the field of Instagram Marketing. With over five years of experience as a freelance Social Media Marketing consultant, Val has assisted numerous small and medium-sized businesses in achieving their goals.