This is how Instagram ranks the viewer order on your Insta story

There’s a whole lotta stalking going on here


Whether there is a motive behind it or not, you don't upload an Instagram story without checking back to see who's viewed it every half an hour. But how does Instagram rank story viewers?

It's literally impossible to let 24 hours pass and your story expire without religiously reopening the app to see if the guy you're currently texting, the one you hate, and the one you're trying to make jealous has viewed your latest upload.

But is it just me, or does your best friend, your sibling and even the person you're texting not appear in your top five viewers? My top five goes: a guy I haven't spoken to in ages, my ex-boyfriend, two girls I kinda knew at uni and one girl I have spoken five words to in my life time. Like, how is that even possible???

Instagram holds many mysteries, like how to get a blue tick, how to view someone's story without them seeing, and how to actually get followers, but the viewer order on your story is one of the most mysterious. So we tried to find out exactly how Instagram rank the viewers of your story through different Insta story theories, and what the number one person in your order really means.

But what does it all MEAN

The stalking theory

There are several theories floating around the internet. After conducting an experiment, one Reddit user told this thread the top people are those who stalk your Instagram the most. These stalkers don't even have to engage with your content through likes and comments, as long as they visit your account frequently enough they'll always appear first.

The top 50 theory

Others think the order is chronological for the first 50 viewers, so your viewer order will show who tapped to watch your story first. But as soon as it gets to 50 viewers, the algorithm changes…

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…followed by another stalking theory

Supposedly after the first 50 people have viewed your story, the order is then ranked by who interacts with your profile the most via page views, comments, likes, story views, DMs etc.

In this theory, page views are also prioritised in this algorithm, so if you're wondering why your ex who never likes any of your Instas anymore keeps appearing on top, it's cos he's stalking you.

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Well it looks like these three have been stalking me for 14 WEEKS

The three signals

Instagram's Paige Thelen, who works in Insta's tech communications team, told Social Media Week there are three considerations as to who ranks where, including the timing of the post, your relationship and how much they think they'll like your story. Paige said: "Similar to the feed, stories are ordered based on which moments you’ll care about most.

"The order is determined based on a number of signals, including: 1) the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content; 2) timeliness of the posts; and 3) your relationships to the person posting. The technology is powered by machine learning, which is adaptive to your behaviour and improves over time.

“Profile visits are considered, as well as likes and comments.”

So basically, whoever is in your top five probably stalks your account all the time, even if they don't like any of your posts or even talk to you anymore. This means every time you upload a story, you can now get an ego boost from knowing your shitty ex still misses you, or that your 'best friend' is the actual best friend they claim to be.

Click here for a full guide on how to use Instagram, including other tips and tricks you might not know about.

Here is exactly how the Instagram algorithm works.

Other stories about how Instagram works:

•How to get a blue tick on Instagram, Tinder, Facebook and Twitter

• How to get 1,000 Instagram followers, by people who’ve done it

Here’s how to watch someone’s Instagram story without them seeing you’ve seen it

• This is how Instagram ranks the people who like your posts