File image: Instagram. (The Independent).

CAPE TOWN - Instagram product lead Julian Gutman has opened up to media outlets, about how the social platform's algorithm populates users feed.

According to Gutman, The three main factors when creating users’ feeds are interest, recency, and relationship.

1. Interest

Interest is how much Instagram thinks you’ll care about a post, with the most important obviously coming to the top. 

2. Recency 

Recency just means Instagram prioritises newer posts. 

3. Relationship

Relationship focuses on those you have interacted with the most.  So the more you interact with someone on the platform, the more likely you are to see their content up front.

Additionally, other factors include frequency, following, and usage.

 Frequency is how often you actually open the app, as it wants to show you the best posts since you last opened. 

Following means that if you follow lots of people, Instagram might show you less from one specific person so you can see more from all the people you follow.

 Usage is how long you spend on Instagram, so the app determines when to show you the best posts. 

 It also doesn’t hide any posts in the feed, and if you keep scrolling, you should see everything posted by everyone you follow. 

Instagram also says it doesn’t down-rank users for posting too frequently or for including too many hashtags.

According to Instagram, the platform shows you posts from the people you care about first as that what an efficient algorithm is supposed to do.

The Instagram Explore pages also has its own algorithm as well, and according to Instagram in 2017, “posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like.”

You can also see video channels on the Explore page, which according to the platform can include posts “from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics they think you’ll enjoy.”

Overall, the Explore page and the feed are mostly similar, delivering you content Instagram thinks you’ll be most interested in, based on your interactions.

However, there is a way that you can prevent yourself from seeing posts you know you don't like that show up in your explore box. 

Here's how:

If you see a post you don't like in Search & Explore, you can choose to see fewer posts like it. 

1. Tap the post

2. Tap  (iOS) or(Android) above the post

3. Select See Fewer Posts Like This.

This will prevent you from seeing posts similar to the one you don't like that show-up in the explore box. 

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