What Does the Order of Instagram Story Viewers Mean?

Perhaps you have a secret Instagram crush, or you want to know which of your followers are most likely to…

Perhaps you have a secret Instagram crush, or you want to know which of your followers are most likely to view your Instagram stories. In any case, it’s useful to understand what the order of people who view Instagram story means.

The ability to clearly evaluate each metric that Instagram offers you can change your content strategy, posting schedule, use of hashtags, and even the basics of what you post. Because story views play a large role in reach and engagement, their metrics shouldn’t be skimmed over.

That’s especially true if you are trying to become an influencer and monetize your following. These metrics show you how many of your stories are receiving quality attention and interaction.

Whether you’re just curious or it’s part of a marketing strategy, here’s what you should know about Instagram story views.

How Do Instagram Stories Views Work?

The story feature is distinct from the rest of the posting options on Instagram, so their metrics are too. In particular, Instagram stories are temporary and disappear 24 hours after posting. Unlike regular posts and reels, Instagram does you a favor by revealing who sees your story posts, as well as who likes and interacts with them.

The metrics themselves are not straightforward, however. There’s no explanation on how the order is decided, or if there’s a reason at all.

Because of this, when it comes to how story views work, you may have asked yourself: “My crush appears on top of the story viewer likes on Instagram. What does it mean?” Without any published or concrete explanation from Instagram itself, users are left to rely on popular theories, generated from personal experience as businesses, creators, or private users:  

Does the Order of Views Instagram Story Matter?  

So, what do we know about the order of Instagram story views? It’s strongly believed that the first 50 views that appear on your ‘Instagram story views’ list are chronological. As such, they are the last 50 accounts to view your Instagram story.

After this point, the algorithm takes over and there are four different explanations for the order priority.

How Does Instagram Rank Story Viewers?

Now, what does the order of Instagram story viewers mean after the first 50 views? Those at the top could be:  

Accounts You Interact With Most

One theory states that the accounts listed higher in your story views are those which you interact with the most. As such, this may include accounts where you regularly DM them, comment on their posts, or share their content.

If you see an account near the top of your story views, and you connect with them often, this could be why it’s placed so high.

Accounts That Interact With You The Most

A second theory is that any accounts listed at the top of the viewer list are those which interact with your account most often. This may include users who regularly comment on your posts, message you, interact with your stories, and share your content. This consistent engagement could make them appear higher on the list.

Also Your Facebook Friends

Instagram and Facebook are both owned by Meta. This has led to a theory that Instagram accounts which are linked with Facebook accounts, and who are also on your friends list there, may appear higher on the Instagram story viewers list.

Accounts That Interact With Your Story Most:

The final theory is that people who like or interact with a particular story post, rather than just view it, will be placed at the top of the viewers’ list. This placement is assumed to be independent of all other factors.

In that vein, it’s worth noting that a common internet myth states that accounts which appear at the top of your story view list are your ‘Instagram stalkers.’ This is highly unlikely, even if the platform has not released a statement on the matter, since Instagram prioritizes engagement above all else.

Instagram stalkers, by their nature, avoid drawing attention to themselves, and so they rarely comment or like posts. To intentionally place them as a higher priority would be contrary to the entire design of Instagram’s algorithm, and serve no real purpose.

A more likely theory is that accounts which do not follow you appear at the bottom of your story viewers list after the first 50 accounts. This would be in-line with the Instagram algorithm, which prioritizes accounts that engage with you in some way.

All in all, these explanations are just likely theories, based on keen observation. Be sure to keep an open mind when tracking your story views.


What is an ‘Instagram stalker?’

The term ‘Instagram stalker’ refers to an account that does not follow you or interact with you, but still watches your stories often or ‘stalks’ your profile. There is no evidence that these profiles are given priority on your story viewers list.

How can I make a good Instagram story?

Making a good Instagram story is all about knowing your audience. There is no single template for a great Instagram story, but stats indicate that funny or entertaining content is most likely to excel in every post format, followed by informative content. So, if you can find a way to make your stories funny or entertaining, you are likely to see an increase in engagement.

How do I get people to Interact with my Instagram story?

There are a number of ways to prompt your followers to interact with your story, and you can find these in the stickers menu. Access this by pressing the sticker icon or swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You will find a range of stickers that create interactive elements, such as polls, questions, and reaction sliders.

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