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Exploring Instagram’s algorithm: How your story views are sorted

If you use Instagram, you’ve probably shared or watched these fun, short videos and pictures that disappear after 24 hours

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

Welcome to the fascinating world of Instagram stories. If you use Instagram, you’ve probably shared or watched these fun, short videos and pictures that disappear after 24 hours. Have you ever wondered why some people’s faces show up first when you see who viewed your story? 

It’s not random; there’s a special system behind it. 

In this guide, I’ll explore how Instagram decides the order of viewers on your stories. This is really important for anyone who wants to get noticed more on Instagram, whether it’s just for fun or for business. Let’s delve into this intriguing subject.

Understanding Instagram’s story algorithm

Instagram Stories are like a magic show; they have secrets behind them. When you post a story, Instagram uses a special trick, called an algorithm, to decide who sees it first. These are things like who you talk to most on Instagram, whose posts you like, and who you send messages to.

Instagram looks at all these things to guess who might want to see your story the most. If you chat a lot with someone or like their photos often, they might see your story near the top of their list. This helps make sure that the friends you interact with most are more likely to see what you post.

Trying to figure out who your best pals are and showing them your stories first. Remember, the more you talk with others on Instagram, the more the algorithm learns about who you care about the most. Let’s keep exploring to understand even better how your Instagram stories find their way to your friends.

Key factors influencing story viewer order

When I post a story on Instagram, I often see some friends’ faces at the top of the list of viewers. Why is that? It’s because Instagram uses certain clues to decide this order. Let’s talk about what these clues are:

  • Likes and comments: If a friend often likes or comments on your photos, Instagram thinks, “Ah, this person really likes what you post!” This means your story appears to them sooner.
  • Chats: When you send a lot of messages back and forth with someone on Instagram, it’s like telling Instagram, “Hey, we’re good friends!” 
  • Checking profiles: Do you visit someone’s profile a lot? Instagram notices this. So, Instagram thinks they should see your stories sooner.
  • Your activity: How much you like, comment, and chat with others also matters. The more you do it, the more Instagram thinks others should see your stories.

All these clues help Instagram act like a detective, figuring out who should be at the front of the line to see your stories. Remember, it’s all about how much you and your friends talk and share on Instagram.

Deep dive: Instagram story viewers’ patterns

For more in-depth insights into how Instagram sorts story viewers and the algorithm’s nuances, visit InstaNavigator, a resourceful platform for understanding Instagram’s intricate workings.

Let’s be like detectives and take a closer look at how people watch my Instagram stories. Instagram keeps an eye on who peeks at my stories and when. Here’s what I can find out:

  • First viewers: Usually, the first people to see my story are those who talk to me a lot on Instagram. 
  • Later viewers: As time goes by, other people might see my story too. These could be friends who don’t chat with me as much but still like to see what I’m up to.
  • Changes over time: The order of viewers can change. As more people join, the line shifts and changes. So, someone who was at the front might move back, and new people might come to the front.
  • Watching again: If someone watches my story more than once, Instagram thinks, “Wow, they really like this story!” This might move them up in the list of viewers.

Remember, Instagram wants to make sure everyone enjoys the stories they see. So, it’s always mixing things up, to make sure friends who really want to see your stories get a chance to do so.

Leveraging Instagram’s story features for maximum engagement

To make your Instagram stories more exciting and get more people to watch them, you can use these special features. Here’s how to maximize their potential:

  • Stickers and polls: These are like fun games you can add to your story. You can ask questions with polls or use funny stickers. This makes your friends want to play along and interact with your story.
  • Tagging friends: When you tag someone in your story, it’s more likely they will see it and maybe even share it with their friends.
  • Location tags: When you add a place to your story, people who like that place can see your story too.
  • Hashtags: When you use hashtags, people who are interested in those topics might find your story.
  • Boomerangs and filters: These make your stories more fun to watch. Boomerangs are like funny, short videos that play back and forth. Filters can change how your story looks, making it cool or silly.

Using these tools is to make your stories colorful and interesting. The more you use them, the more people might stop to look at your stories and join in the fun.

Practical tips to boost your Instagram story views

Want more friends to see your Instagram stories? Here are some easy tips to help you get more views. Putting up bright signs to attract more people to your stories.

  • Post regularly: Share stories often. This keeps your friends excited to see what you’ll share next.
  • Time it right: Think about when your friends are most likely to be on Instagram. Posting when they’re awake and free, like after school or work, means more of them might see your story.
  • Interact with others: When you like and comment on your friends’ posts or reply to their stories. They might wave back by watching your stories.
  • Use interesting captions: Catchy captions can make friends curious to see your story. Try to think of something fun or interesting to say.
  • Ask questions: Asking your friends for their opinion. Use question stickers to get them to talk to you. The more they chat, the more they’ll see your stories.
  • Be yourself: Share what you love or what makes you happy. Stories that show your true self; they invite friends to see the real you.

Remember, getting more views on your stories is like growing your profile. It takes a little bit of work every day, but it’s fun and worth it when you see more and more friends coming to visit your stories.


I have covered how Instagram sorts story viewers and how you can get more friends to watch your stories. Remember, Instagram is like a smart helper, using a special system to show your stories to people who might enjoy them the most.

The key to success on Instagram stories? Share stories regularly, use fun stickers and filters, and talk to your friends through likes, comments, and messages. This helps your Instagram profile grow with more views and interactions.

Most importantly, be yourself and have fun. When you share what you love, your stories become like a window into your world, and friends will be excited to see what you post next.

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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