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Instagram Best Practices For Recommended Content

Instagram publishes new guidance for creators on expanding reach with recommended content.

Instagram publishes new best practices for creators to follow to increase their eligibility for recommendations.

Recommendations are photos and videos you see on Instagram from accounts you don’t follow.

Recommended content surfaces in Instagram’s main feed, the explore feed, and the reels tab.

Instagram determines whether to recommend a piece of content based on signals such as how many and how quickly other people are liking, commenting, sharing, and saving a post.

A user’s prior interactions with a content creator are a factor, as well as other posts a person has liked or commented on.

When your content surfaces as a recommended photo or video, it can positively impact your reach and accelerate audience growth.

Getting content picked up by Instagram’s recommendation algorithm is a goal of all businesses and creators trying to gain more followers.

To help more people realize that goal, Instagram shares a set of best practices for users to follow.

Instagram Recommendations Best Practices


First, if you want to be eligible for recommendations, you must have a public account. Instagram won’t recommend content from private accounts.

Next, you have to follow Instagram’s recommendation guidelines.

Instagram has specific guidelines covering the content types it tries to recommend in people’s feeds.

Recommendation guidelines differ from community guidelines, which are rules for what can and can’t be on Instagram.

Content that goes against Instagram’s recommendation guidelines includes:

  • Content that may depict violence, such as people fighting
  • Content that promotes the use of certain regulated products, such as tobacco or vaping products
  • Content that may be sexually explicit or suggestive, such as pictures of people in see-through clothing

Lastly, you have to follow Instagram’s community guidelines. You’ll know if you’re not following the community guidelines because Instagram will send a warning or remove the content.

With that out, let’s get into the best practices.

Best Practices

Instagram recommends following these best practices to increase reach through recommendations:

  • Post original content: Instagram aims to amplify the reach of creators creating their own content rather than aggregating other peoples’ content.
  • Create reels content: Make Instagram reels part of your content strategy for more opportunities to get your content recommended.
  • Optimize for search: Use descriptive captions and hashtags to get your content surfaced in search results. It also helps to optimize your bio and profile name.

Instagram Doubling Down On Recommendations

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, doubles down on the company’s commitment to showing more recommendations on people’s feeds.

Mosseri paints it as a positive direction for users, especially those who create original content.

In the video above, Mosseri states (emphasis mine):

“The idea behind recommendations is to help people discover amazing creators on Instagram that they don’t even know about yet. And our hope is that the future of Feed will be largely driven by recommendations, because we’re seeing friend sharing is moving increasingly to stories and to DMs.

If we do our job right, and I want to be clear we’re not there yet, we’ll help people discover amazing creators in a way that both means people will spend more time on the platform, but also that the average creator gets more reach.

And if we’re really thoughtful we can shift more distribution from the aggregators, who I think today get more than their fair share of distribution on Instagram, to creators.

Again, particularly the small creators I think we can do more by because we want to be a platform where anybody can grow an audience and make a living over the long run.”

Source: Instagram

Featured Image: Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

Category News Instagram
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Instagram Best Practices For Recommended Content

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