How Social Media Algorithms Work?

August 21, 2020by inspira7_admin0

An algorithm is defined as a set of steps followed to achieve a specific goal. Each social media platform has its own algorithms to present users with more relevant content.

Let’s take a detailed look at how some social media algorithms work:



Facebook, now renamed as Meta, is currently the largest social media platform with 2.85 billion active users as of May 2021. The key to Facebook’s algorithm is meaningful customer engagement. It tracks active user behaviors to enhance their experiences. By analyzing comments, likes, and shares on a post, Facebook ensures that similar posts are shown at the top of users’ feeds, aiming to present the most suitable content.

Facebook’s decision on which posts to show is based on four factors:

Inventory: All the content that Facebook can show you, including posts from everyone.

Signals: Data that helps Facebook understand which posts you might be interested in and how relevant a post may be to you.

Predictions: Using signals and your profile data, Facebook predicts how you might react to a post.

Relevance Score: After all these steps, Facebook assigns a relevance score to each post, and higher-scored posts are shown at the top of your feed.



Instagram, also owned by Meta, reached 2 billion active users worldwide as of December 2021. Instagram’s algorithm takes into account several important points, such as interests, interactions, timing, and usage frequency, to rank content.

Let’s look at how Instagram’s algorithm works for different sections:

Feed Posts:

The main section where your home page appears. Instagram considers interactions like DMs, comments, likes, profile visits, and saves to push those posts to the top of your feed, ensuring that you encounter more content from accounts with which you engage.


A section for 24-hour disappearing posts. Similar to feed posts, Instagram values interactions here. Stories from accounts you engage with will be prioritized.

Explore Page:

Instagram aims to keep users spending more time here. It shows content based on users’ interests, including posts that are similar to those you’ve liked and content from profiles you follow.

IGTV and Reels:

In these sections, Instagram uses artificial intelligence to present content it thinks you might like based on your previous interactions.


Twitter is a social media platform allowing texts, photos, and videos with a limit of 280 characters. It had 330 million users in 2019. Twitter’s algorithms not only consider interactions with tweets but also take into account the date and time of tweets. Replies, retweets, and comments on tweets also impact their ranking on the timeline.


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 808.4 million users as of January 2022. LinkedIn creates a personalized feed based on your connections, relationships, followed hashtags, and pages. Its algorithm has two main goals:

Prioritize relevant content.

Increase engagement.

LinkedIn’s algorithm values relevance more than freshness. Its aim is to show you content that interests you, even if it’s not the most recent.


Pinterest is different from other social media platforms. It is considered not only a social media platform but also a search engine. Pinterest had 431 million users as of Q4 2021.

Pinterest tries to show three different pools of data on the home feed:

Re-pins from accounts you follow.

Pins related to people you follow.

Pins related to your interests.

Pinterest’s Smart Feed algorithm prioritizes showing the best pins first, replacing lower-quality pins.


For pin rankings, four factors come into play:

Domain quality (how Pinterest determines the quality of your website).

Pin quality (often determined by the popularity and engagement of your pins).

Pinner quality (the more incredible content you create, the more Pinterest shares your feed with others).

Relevance (how closely your pins match your target audience’s specific searches, general interests, and search history).


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