Ranking on all tabs is the deciding factor that can impact how many users see a post, Instagram highlights the multiple signals factored in when Home, Explore, and Reels posts are ranked.
Creators, social media brands, and publishers on Instagram have often complained about feed ranking and their posts not reaching enough followers to gain engagement, acknowledging this feedback, Instagram has shared the process of how posts are ranked, and which posts show higher up in the feed.
All of the followers will not see a user's post, multiple factors, and interactions between the follower and the user impact the ranking or decide if a follower will see a post higher up in the feed.
Instagram says the reason why the feed is not chronological because the user might miss out on what the platform believes to be relevant posts, based on the signals and interactions. Ranking posts also enables Instagram to customize each user's experience. Here's how it works.
Feed & Stories
The popularity of the post itself, and the interactions on DMs, Comments, and more between the user who posted and their follower will decide the rank of the post on Stories and Feed.
For instance, if two users frequently converse via DMs or interact with each other on comments, it is highly likely both users will see each other's Stories earlier in the tab. Posts that are performing well, and garnering higher engagement would also be shown higher up in the feed.
Explore & Reels
Both these tabs are distinctively for content discovery and finding newer content, here Instagram factors the relevancy of the content the user is shown and how users with similar interests have engaged with these posts. As Reels also focuses on trending content, how fast the popularity of a Reel grows, which means if a Reel is being widely shared and engage with, as soon as it is posted, the probability of it reaching more users is higher.
Instagram also mentions it avoids showing political content on Reels, to keep the content fun and engaging, although such Reels can be directly seen on places like the user's profile. Tabs that enable the discovery of new content also rely on assumptions made by the platform, in such cases certain guidelines are followed to avoid certain types of sensitive content.
This the current process of how posts ranked, but the platform says the process may change or alter over time.