How Instagram Ranks Reels & Stories In 2023

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You may have seen our other blog post that covers how Instagram ranks feed content. Well, now we’re back to cover Stories & Reels, so let’s dive right in!


One tap, two taps, three taps, four! We love an Instagram story scroll, but have you ever wondered why you see what you see? If so, keep reading…

Stories are 24 hour snippets of people’s lives and offer a great space for brands to showcase more low-fi or ‘throwaway’ content like quizzes and polls to encourage interaction from their audience. According to Adam Mosseri’s latest blog, the stories you see are from people you follow as well as ads. In addition, when ranking stories, Instagram looks at a variety of “signals” to show you the most relevant content to YOU (it’s all about you, right? 💁‍♀️).

Three signals they use to rank content are:

🔍 How often you view an account’s stories

 💕How often you engage with that account

👨‍👩‍👦 How likely you are to be connected as friends or family

If you’re happy with what you’re seeing on stories, that’s great and means that Instagram has perfectly predicted what you’ll find relevant and valuable. But, what can brands learn from this? First up, it’s vital to post, post, post! Get in on the stories action and entertain your followers old and new with exciting content. You’ll show up for people that regularly engage with you, so why not treat your followers to discount codes or exclusive content that can’t be found elsewhere?

Don’t forget to follow relevant accounts so that you can see their stories show up too. If you’re thinking about working with influencers, this is a good opportunity to discover their content and start building a relationship with them.


Love them or hate them, Reels are here to stay! The beloved placement for short-form video content, Reels are where trends come to live (and die). With an emphasis on entertainment, the way Reels rank content is slightly different and aims to help you discover new things to love.

Unlike Stories, most of what you’ll see will be from accounts you don’t follow. But Instagram still relies on the below magical signals to determine what they think you’ll like:

❤️ What reels you’ve engaged with recently

👫 Your history with the account

📹 What audio track or visuals are in the video and how popular it is

👥 Information about the account who posted, including followers and engagement levels

Instagram then orders the content and makes a set of predictions based on a few things like; how interesting the content is to you, how likely you are to reshare, if you watch all the way through, like or go to the audio page to make your own reel.

So with that in mind, here are 3 things to consider when making reels:

1. Engage your audience with entertaining content that shows a different side to your business. Think moodboards, behind the scenes content or new product launches, like in this reel we produced for our client Arada’s Bold Edit Campaign.

2. Always add trending audio and dynamic templates to increase your chances of going viral.

3. Avoid low-resolution or watermarked videos or reels that are muted, contain borders or are OTT on text.

Better yet, if you need a little help to up your Instagram game, we’re here for you. Pick up the phone or ping us an email… we’re always happy to chat! / 01892 511867

Published by August 16, 2023 11:56 am


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