Earlier this week, Instagram shared the secrets of their Explore Tab recommender system. If you’re tech-savvy enough, you can read it here. Yet, we’ll touch on this from the marketing perspective.

The Instagram Explore AI consists of a 3-part ranking funnel that extracts 65 billion of functions and creates 90 million of model predictions per second to allow us to see what we see on the Explore Tab.

Instagram concludes on the similarity of pages based on captions analysis. The algorithms analyse not only keywords used in a caption but also the order of these words appearing in a text and the whole Instagram page.

This means that Instagram doesn’t analyse each post solely, but altogether with the profile they’re published on. And it compares the pages with one another.

Because Instagram has a large number of interest-focused accounts based on specific themes — such as Devon rex cats or vintage tractors — we created a retrieval pipeline that focuses on account-level information rather than media-level.

The system builds recommendations based on billions of “seed accounts” that you’ve previously engaged with. The system detects what content you like and save, builds a cloud of similar profiles and picks 500 related posts based on that.

Alice and Bob have similar Instagram pages. You like Alice’s posts but don’t know about Bob. Instagram shows you Bob’s posts in Explore.

Then Instagram filters these posts in terms of spam, ineligible content and misinformation. The content that has survived this filter pipe is ranked according to the possibility you interact with it. The process has three stages, and each stage focuses on sampling the most relevant and highest-quality profiles to move forward.

Algorithms consider any interaction with the account — both positive and a negative one. It means that not just likes, shares, and saves but also actions like “See Fewer Posts Like This” are taken into account. The analysis is made thanks to a neural network that predicts how you will interact with a post.

As a result, the algorithm selects 25 posts you see first once you open the Explore Page.

It’s also worth mentioning that one regular user will not see many of your posts on Explore during one session. The thing is that Instagram downranks posts from one creator, adding a penalty factor.

This is done to let people discover new interests, along with their current interests. Instagram engineers say that the goal is to make the Explore Tab a place with interesting and yet diverse content.

What does Instagram Explore AI mean for brands and marketers?

Work on your Instagram captions

Surprisingly that Instagram takes into account not media we publish on the platform but the words sequences we write in captions. So now, captions are even more critical if you want to get on the Explore Tab.

It’s challenging to create a nice caption on the fly, that’s why you’d better try Combin Scheduler to plan your content and think through each caption in advance. With this tool, you’ll be sure that the content will be published on time and the captions will remain as you’ve written and formatted them.

Be niche-specific

If Instagram pays attention not to some single posts but the whole accounts, your page needs to be dedicated to a limited number of topics or just one. Instagram Explore AI analyses the context, so it’s vital that your post about let’s say finances would fit your entire page. Otherwise, you’d hardly appear on the Explore Tab.

Use all types of Instagram content

Posts, Stories, shopping posts, IGTV are the formats that now can be seen on the Explore Tab. And you should leverage all of them to increase your chances to get on Explore.

No news that engagement and quality content are above all on Instagram. These revealed Explore AI insights gave marketers not many new tips but one more time convinced us that content is the king.

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