Instagram Algorithm Shift: Why ‘Sends’ Matter More Than Ever

Ever wondered why some Instagram posts seem to explode with views while others fizzle out?

According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, one of the biggest things they look at to rank your posts is how many people share them directly with friends in messages (DMs). This is called the “sends per reach” ratio.

The more people who feel like saying, “Hey, you gotta see this!” to their friends, the more Instagram thinks it’s awesome content and shows it to more people.

Instagram’s ‘Sends Per Reach’ Ranking Signal

Mosseri explains the sends per reach ranking signal and its reasoning:


“Some advice: One of the most important signals we use in ranking is sends per reach. So, out of all the people who saw your video or photo, how many sent it to a friend in a DM? At Instagram, we’re trying to be a place where people can be creative, but in a way that brings people together.


We want to not only be a place where you passively consume content, but where you discover things you want to tell your friends about. A reel that made you laugh so hard you want to send it to your brother or sister. Or a soccer highlight that blew your mind, and you want to send it to another fan. That kind of thing. So, don’t force it as a creator. But if you can, think about making content that people would want to send to a friend or to someone they care about.”

What does this mean for you?

  • Create shareable content: Consider what makes you want to send something to a friend. Funny videos, interesting facts, or amazing creations are all great bets.
  • Focus on building connections: Instagram wants a space where people connect, not just scroll. Respond to comments, ask questions, and get people talking!
  • Don’t force it: Trying too hard to make something viral usually backfires. Be yourself and let your creativity shine.

Related: Secrets to Instagram Growth and Engagement

Bonus Tip: If your reach has been down lately, this might be why! So get out there and create content that sparks conversations and gets shared!

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