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Instagram Reels Algorithm Explained

I'm over it! I am tired of people (including myself) whining about Instagram Reels Views. Let's just cut to the chase ok? Instagram Reels views are a VANITY METRIC.

Stop chasing them. You need to be chasing engagement and growth from your Reels.

I recently did an entire post about Instagram Reels views and the algorithm. Shortly after, Instagram started to spill the tea on what makes a good reel and what the factors are to essentially go viral. In my case, how one reel gets 200 views while another gets 2k.

Before I get into all of that, I want you to ask yourself:

🙋🏻‍ What am I doing to bring people to my content?

🤔 Am I asking my audience to share or save my content?

✏️ Is my content WORTH sharing with others?

Do you ask yourself these questions?

If you don't, you should. It is important to take time out to audit your page. Now that we have Insights for Reels, you can start figuring out what content is connecting with or growing your audience.

Ok. The lecture is over. Let's jump in to what Instagram says about their Algorithm for Instagram Reels.

The Algorithm Explained

At Instagram Creator Week, Adam Mosseri gave some interesting insights about many Reels questions. Some of it is stuff we already knew about, but having it confirmed is always a relief too.

View Duration

Instagram wants people to open their app and be entertained. Instagram finds high-ranking Reels based on how likely the audience is to watch the ENTIRE Reel. Here are some ways to increase your chances:

  1. Keep your reels 7-9 seconds

  2. You need to be quick and relatable off the top. You have 2 seconds to hook in your viewer. The faster they react the better.

  3. Include a surprise at the end to make them watch again

  4. Use transitions to keep the audience engaged


The creators also said that Instagram Ranks a video higher if you "like it" and say "it was funny or entertaining." Here are some suggestions:

  1. Do something surprising, helpful, funny, or impressive for Likes.

  2. Ask a short question on screen

  3. Use the caption to remind people to Share (Sharing is Caring)

Audio Page

Instagram also ranks a reel higher if the viewer clicks on the audio that is used in the Reel. This one was not a big surprise. Reels have a long shelf life. Reels I have made 6 months ago are still getting played. I figured it was because people were searching the audio and/or using it. It was nice to have confirmation.

Mosseri cautions that there is no silver bullet, but he suggests you experiment and try new things. After all, Reels are supposed to be entertaining!

Want to learn more about Instagram Reels and strategies for growing your business through Reels, join us for the KISS Course for Instagram Reels. The first two modules are FREE.


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