Instagram has initiated Stories on the Instagram Explore tab displaying Stories of accounts similar to what users like and follow.
This is the first time ever Stories will be showing up on Explore tab. The tab is getting a redesigned navigation bar with Shopping and IGTV buttons along with other subjects like Style, TV & Movies.
After you've updated Instagram to the newest version, you'll start seeing Stories auto-playing on the Explore tab. Tap it, to watch that Story. Swipe through, to watch similar Stories. If you tap on a story about Style, you are more likely to see more Stories about it.
How to get your Stories featured on the Explore tab
The Stories experience on Explore is personalised for every user. The algorithm scanning for which Stories to show you, will look at several things like, the freshness of that content and other factors. By curating or creating your Stories according to the following recommendations, the chances of a Brands and Creators' Stories featuring on the Explore tab increases.
Current Interactions & Engagement
The viewer is most likely to see Stories similar to the posts they currently see and engage with most on the platform. They would also see content from creators who are similar to the ones they follow, but who they don't follow yet. This is one of the strongest factors for your content to be featured on the Explore tab.
Videos hold priority over photos. As videos are more likely to get attention from viewers, they would get the primary preference. Although, great photos would still be ranked over mediocre videos.
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Reposts from other creators or feeds would be demoted by the algorithm. This may be a strive towards promoting original content on the platform and to avoid repetitive posts.
Highly-visual Stories with minimal or no text are more likely to get the preference.
Detection of Similarities
Detection of similarities is one of the frail signals. The platform would use a computer vision that detects the content of a Story and shows the ones a viewer engages with the most.
Applying these directions would help you align your content with Instagram's current algorithm and help your Stories to possibly show up on Explore tab.
Additionally, Instagram is scrapping it's standalone messaging app, Direct. The app was rolled out to a small number of countries in 2017, but never blew. The intercations on Direct would be moved back to Instagram in the coming month.