Instagram chief explains how the service decides what you see

Adam Mosseri publishes the first in a new series of blogs

Instagram head Adam Mosseri sheds some light on how the social network decides what you see New blog post published on Tuesday. The explanation seems to be at least in part to counter persistent rumors that Instagram intentionally hides or dislikes certain posts, which Instagram says is absolutely not true.

The short answer to how Instagram works is that it’s complicated. According to Mosseri, Instagram uses “thousands” of signals to determine what you see in your feed, and isn’t just an algorithm that decides what’s shown to you. But the company is also committed to better explaining why the content is removed and how the service unfolds, they write. One of the more surprising revelations: Most Instagram followers won’t see your posts anyway because “most people see less than half of their feed.”

For example, Tuesday’s blog is only the first of a series that will “shed more light on how Instagram’s technology works and how it affects the experiences people have on the app”, so it seems We can expect a more detailed breakdown in the future.

In this earlier blog, Mosseri explained that Instagram uses “a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose” to determine what to show you. They then break down the “signals” that Instagram uses to show something in your feed or stories. Here are the “most important” signs, “in roughly order of importance:”

information about the post. These are clues about how popular a post is — think how many people have liked it — and more mundane information about the content, such as when it was posted, how long it is if it’s a video. , and to which place, if any, was attached to it.

Information about the person who posted. This helps us understand how interesting that person might be to you, and includes indications of how often people have interacted with that person over the past few weeks.

your activity. This helps us understand what might interest you and includes pointers such as how many posts you’ve liked.

your chat history. This tells us how generally you are interested in seeing posts from a particular person. An example is whether or not you comment on each other’s posts.

Instagram will then predict how you might interact with a post, such as commenting or liking it. “The more likely you are to take an action, and the more we value that action, the higher you’ll see the post,” Mosseri said.

Mosseri also addressed how people accuse the service of silencing users or “shadowbanning” and said the company would do a better job of explaining why the content is removed. Mosseri said, “We are developing better in-app notifications so that people know at this time why, for example, their post was removed, and are looking for ways to let people know when. If they post they go against our recommendation guidelines.” Instagram will have “more to share soon” on those updates.

The blog post also details the signals the company uses to show you content in Explore tabs and Reels (Instagram’s TikTok-like video service) — which, in particular, primarily show you content from your accounts. No Follow.

Instagram is shutting down as Mosseri’s interpretation hits Its Maker Week Program, designed to help creators build their brands on the platform.

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