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Complete Guide on How Instagram Search Works


Instagram Search and Explore offers a personalised experience to users and here’s how it works!

- Updated: 31st Jan 2022, 10:43 IST
  • 1
    Instagram Search: How Instagram Ranks Search Results
    • Your Search Text
    • Your Instagram Activity
    • Popular Signals Get Preference
  • 2
    How Instagram Keeps Search Results Safe
  • 3
    Instagram Search: Tips to Show Up at the Top
  • 4
    How Instagram Search Works: The Takeaway

What started as a simple picture sharing platform has now turned to one of the most used social media platforms, Instagram. The Instagram algorithm is complex and needs a lot of understanding, especially how Instagram Search works. It offers users with the most relevant content for a more user-friendly experience on the platform.

Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri, took to a blog post to explain how Instagram Search works. This post gives us a detailed understanding about the actuality of the Instagram algorithm. Moreover, it also reveals how the functionality works to offer safe and personalised search results.

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Instagram Search: How Instagram Ranks Search Results

One of the best things about Instagram Search is it personalises your search results. It ranks a user’s search results on the basis of its relevance to them. Instagram analyses and leverages accounts, hashtags, locations and other data which are called Signals, to rank the search results.

Mosseri has also explains the factors that determine how your search results will rank on Instagram. These factors are important to give you a proper understanding about how Instagram Search works in actuality. These are:

Your Search Text

It goes without saying that what you type into the search field of the platform, it will show you results on the basis of that. The moment you start typing into the search field, Instagram starts collecting data from different locations, usernames and their bios to offer the best possible search results.

Your Instagram Activity

What you search for go through the most on the platform is taken into account to deliver the best search results. From the accounts you follow to the kind of posts you go through the most, Instagram takes everything into account to deliver as relevant a search result as possible.

When you look for a page or individual on Instagram, only the one which is widely known or popular arrives at the very top. This mostly includes accounts with blue ticks or celebrities in general. This is why popular signals will always show up at the very top of what you search for. On the basis of the total follower count, posts and more, these signals show up at the top and this is how Instagram Search works.

How Instagram Keeps Search Results Safe

According to the Head of Instagram, the platform restricts certain accounts from showing up at the top of the search results. These include accounts that spam posts or violate Instagram guidelines. For accounts like these, users need to put in the complete username of the said account and only then shall they find it on the platform. This is how Instagram Search works towards such accounts.

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In addition, Instagram also takes additional measures of safety when it comes to sensitive content. Community Guidelines are something that Instagram swears by and any violation of these guidelines result in such posts, hashtags and accounts from showing up in the search results page.

Instagram Search: Tips to Show Up at the Top

In addition to talking about how the technicalities of Instagram work, Mosseri also talked about certain tips to show up at the top. These tips will allow you to ensure that your content or profile in general shows up at the top of the Search results.

According to Instagram, users should use a “fitting handle and profile name” as their Instagram account name. For example, if a user is into music or is a musician, adding something along those lines in their username is always the way to go. Mosseri says that the kind of content you post should reflect on your username. This always gives your content a leverage. Moreover, this allows other users to easily look you up on the platform.

Furthermore, using relevant hashtags, locations and keywords in your Insta bio is also of paramount importance. This allows you to show up at the top of Instagram Search results as well. Moreover, the head of Instagram himself is offering these tips and hence, are definitely something to not overlook on the path to understanding how Instagram Search works.

How Instagram Search Works: The Takeaway

Whether you are a content creator or an influencer trying to understand the Instagram algorithm, this article will most certainly come off as pretty educational. There are multiple ways to leverage your content on Instagram by using the algorithm to your advantage. Understanding how Instagram Search works will come in super handy for your overall success on the platform. Moreover, it will allow you to get a significantly better content on the platform by filtering out all the litter.

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We hope this helps you in understanding how Instagram Search works and making the most out of it. Also, if you have any queries, feel free to take to the comments section below.


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Highlights of the Story

  • Instagram Search and Explore functionality has a lot of things going on with it.
  • It analyses a user’s text, activity and other elements to offer relevant search results.
  • There are multiple tips to show up at the top of Instagram Search.