Instagram feed fix: How to see more of what you want (and less of what you don’t)


Aleksandr Zubkov

Do you ever scroll through your Instagram Feed, swipe through Instagram Stories, peruse the Instagram Explore tab, or watch Instagram Reels, and decide you don’t like any of the content you’re seeing? 

Whether it’s because your friends aren’t showing on your feed, you don’t enjoy a specific Reels creators’ content, or your suggested Explore posts don’t interest you, you’re not alone. 

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And luckily, there are ways to influence your Instagram algorithms to give the app a hint that you’re not happy with what it’s suggesting to you.

But first, let’s go over why Instagram is showing you certain content while burying other content into the pits of its sophisticated algorithms. 

What are Instagram’s algorithms?

In a blog post, Instagram explained that it uses multiple algorithms to suggest content to you, and each section of Instagram operates on a different algorithm. That means Reels, Explore, Feed, and Stories have separate algorithms.

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Each of these algorithms receives cues from your activity on Instagram, but each algorithm interprets these cues slightly differently. There are plenty of settings to toggle on or off to adjust your recommendations. Here’s how to use them and how they work.

How to influence your Instagram Feed algorithm

If you’re particularly nostalgic for when Instagram used to show your friends’ posts in chronological order, you can access your Instagram Feed that’s in chronological order. When you open the Instagram app, click the Instagram logo in the top left corner. Then, press Following.

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This setting will only show you your friends’ posts from the past 30 days chronologically and without any suggested content. But you must repeat the steps above every time you open Instagram to access your Following Feed.

If you like your default Instagram Feed but don’t like the posts Instagram recommends, you can snooze recommended posts for 30 days. It’s unclear if there is a refractory period once your 30-day snooze ends that requires you to wait before you can snooze recommended posts again.

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If you don’t like seeing posts from certain people you follow, you can always unfollow them. You can also remove them to stop them from following you. If you think it would be contentious to unfollow or remove someone you know, like a family member, you can mute them to hide their posts. Instagram will not notify them that you muted them.

How to influence your Stories algorithm

Instagram’s Stories algorithm considers how often you interact with another user on Instagram to determine in what order you view their Stories. If you follow someone on Instagram, like and comment on all of their posts, and frequently message them, their story will appear first next to your profile icon on the Instagram homepage.

If you don’t like seeing someone’s Stories but don’t want to block or unfollow them, you can mute their Stories, and they won’t show up in the Stories lineup. 

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If you want only some of your followers to see some of your Stories, you can create a Close Friends list. Your Close Friends cannot send your Close Friends Stories to other Instagram users via direct message, but they can screenshot them.

You can decide to remove someone from your Close Friends list anytime. Instagram will not notify them if they are removed from your list.

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If there are only a few people who you don’t want to see your Stories, you can hide your Stories from them. They will not be able to see your Stories and will not be notified that your Stories are hidden from them.

How to influence Reels and Explore content

The Reels and Explore pages operate on separate algorithms but use similar cues to determine which content is recommended to you. In Reels and Explore, you’ll see content from creators you don’t follow, making it likely you’ll come across some content you don’t like.

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If you don’t like something you find in Reels or Explore, you can choose the “Not Interested” option found in the three dots at the post’s top right corner. You may notice a change in the recommended content by consistently indicating that you’re not interested in posts or creators.

Controls to further personalize your Instagram account

If you’re not interested in having a public-facing presence on Instagram, there are many controls you can toggle to keep your digital footprint on Instagram minimal.

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First, you can make your account private. A private account means you control who follows you, and you must accept someone’s follow request before they can see your posts, Stories, and following and follower lists.

Making your account private prevents your followers from sharing your Feed posts or Stories via DM with other users unless the other user also follows you. Still, they can always screenshot your posts and send them externally.

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You can block people you don’t want to see on your Instagram account. After you block someone, they cannot search your account, see your account in the likes of a mutual friend, or see your comment in another user’s comment section. 

You can filter content with captions with words, phrases, or emojis that you don’t like. Once you input what you don’t want to see, it will be hidden from you.


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