According to the Instagram post named “Introducing Music in Stories”, Instagram Story platform is now used by more than 500 million users every day. Instagram Story algorithm is now a real threat for Snapchat since only after 9 months of introducing this platform, the statista website has shown that Instagram Stories have passed the Snapchat by the number of users.


Instagram has always been famous for using algorithms to enhance users’ experience (read Instagram algorithm). Stories are not an exception and Instagram has an algorithm for them too. The algorithm behind the order of the Story’s feed is the same as the main feed of Instagram, which is based on the engagement between accounts.

The confusing thing about it is the order of who has viewed your Instagram Stories. How does Instagram choose the order of the list?

Instagram Stories algorithm

How Instagram ranks the people that saw a Story

There is not a certain answer to the question “How does Instagram choose to show Story views in the way it does?” However, there have been some experiments and the results can be explained by two theories.

It is a sure thing that the list is not reverse chronological, as it was for Instagram’s feed in the past. However, the list is shown chronologically for the first number of views. After about 50 views, the list changes and the user sees the list in an unknown order. So what has happened here? Let’s talk about these theories:

          Theory 1. This theory claims that the accounts that rank the highest in the view list, are the people who have reached your profile the most. In this case, there is no need for engagements, such as likes and comments. The list is based only on how much time a person has spent on a user’s page. In other words, the Story view list is showing your stalkers!

          Theory 2. According to this theory, the people that appear at the top of the list, are the ones that YOU engage with the most, not them! So it basically has to do more with your activity than your follower’s. The main point is, in addition to engagement, the time that you spend on a user’s page is also of importance.

So what is the actual Instagram algorithm for the Story view list?

Instagram has always claimed that it will not reveal any user’s data. So it is very unlikely that Instagram throws the stalkers’ list at our face that easily! For one sure thing is that Instagram is very protective of the user’s activity, especially the time spent on other user’s page. So the first theory, as exciting as it is, doesn’t seem trustworthy.

However, the second theory seems more logical. According to Instagram, their goal is to “give the community new ways to feel closer to their friends and followers”. Instagram is always trying to find who is closest to you, based on your interactions. So the amount of your own engagement with other accounts determines who appears on the top of your view list.  

Now that we have a sensible theory about the Instagram Story view list, it is time to learn how we can use Stories to grow more followers. If interested, click here.

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