How to Get on The Instagram Explore Page in 2021 (1/2)

Ad dollars are an important source that drives social media discovery. However, the Instagram Explore page remains one of the final frontiers for organic reach.

Behind the Explore feed, Instagram’s fine-tuned algorithm has been real good at recommending users with content they might like. A bit too good, in terms of the spread of misinformation.

In response to both bad actors and good actors, the algorithm is continually evolving and learning to identify problematic content, eliminate bias, promote new formats and connect people with positive communities on the platform.

For brands, the benefits of appearing in the Explore tab include potential spikes in reach, impressions, and sales. It’s a spot to grow your audience and build community. Learn about the newest updates to the algorithm and the right method to land on the Explore page.

Keep reading this article to learn more tips to get on Instagram explore page in this year, 2021.

What is the Instagram Explore page?

The Instagram Explore page is a group of public photos, videos, Reels, and Stories. They help each Instagram user uncover posts, accounts, hashtags, or products they might like.

The algorithm behind the Instagram Explore page uses machine learning to adapt and enhance its content recommendations.

Instagram is working to update the kinds of photos and videos you see in Explore to better tailor it to you. Instagram will choose posts “according to things like the people you follow or the posts you like.”

Yow will discover The Instagram Explore page by tapping the magnifying glass icon within the lower menu ahead of the dedicated Reels and Shop tabs. At the top of the feed, people can look for accounts, hashtags, and places. In November, Instagram included the choice for keyword searches, moving search beyond usernames and hashtags.

Instagram Explore feed

Source: @VishalShahIs Twitter

Below are different categories starting from a devoted IGTV feed to topics like music, sports, travel, beauty, and food. Expect to see new categories similar to “audio” appear here soon. When someone searches for something, category choices adjust accordingly.

When someone clicks on a photo within the Explore feed, it opens up a continuous scroll feed of content related to that photo. So, in a sense, the Explore page is a monster feed of portals to more feeds, each one more granular and targeted than the last.

According to Instagram, 200 million accounts take a look at the Explore feed every day.

How does the Explore page algorithm work?

No two Instagram Explore pages are alike. That’s because Instagram’s Explore Feed Ranking System customizes content somebody sees once they open the Explore tab.

Known as the Instagram algorithm, the system uses machine learning to adjust what’s shown based on various data sources and ranking signals.

In contrast to the home feed where people see posts from accounts that they follow, Instagram engineers identify the Explore page as an “unconnected system.” The system will choose posts “based on a user’s activity across Instagram and are then ranked based on similar elements,” explains Amogh Mahapatra, one of the company’s machines learning researchers, in a recent Instagram blog post.

Instagram Explore Algorithm

Source: Instagram

In other words, the choice of content on each Instagram user’s Explore page relies on:

  • The accounts that someone already follows
  • What the people an account follows like
  • The kinds of posts an account engages with often
  • Posts with high engagement

Some steps have also been taken to deal with algorithmic bias, such as the introduction of Machine Learning Model Cards.

Does having an Instagram business account have an effect on Explore page feed ranking?

At the moment, Instagram’s ranking picks up accounts people interact with the most, whether they’re Business, Creator, or personal accounts.

Instagram aims to enable businesses to create more meaningful connections with their audience and be found by people who want to deepen their interests by branching out from the accounts they already follow (Instagram business website)

Advantages of appearing on the Instagram Explore page

Getting on Instagram users’ Explore pages means more engagement and exposure for your content.

Accordingly, the advantages may or may not include:

  • An engagement spike on the piece of content (post, IGTV video, or Reel) that helps it to Explore, as your content is in front of a wider audience than your followers
  • A bump in new followers (people who love your post enough to take a look at your profile and are attracted by your amazing biohighlight covers,…)
  • Residual increased engagement going ahead (from those new followers)
  • More conversions (when you have the best call-to-action ready for all those fresh eyeballs)
  • A sales increase was driven by product tags and Instagram shopping tools.
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