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Instagram Story Views: The Algorithm Behind the Order of Who Views Your Story


It's time for you to get clean. We're sure you do it - we do it too - Instagram Story stalking.

Since its introduction in late 2016, the Insta-story feature is actually surpassing Snapchat in size of its audience growing to boast over 300 million active users. That's nearly the population of the entire United States, can you be convinced?

As you can see, Insta-Stories has taken off and has earned its place as your-go-to tool for engagement into someone else's and your account's. The users begin to use the Insta-Story viewer "whose seen your story" feature as a method to gauge the quality of their stories.

Okay, imagine this - you decide to share an article that highlights the breathtaking views you saw on your walk. A few moments later you review the story's "views" list and noticed your crush is on the first page. You decide to post another account to find out if the story appears at the top of the list, however, this time they've dropped down a few. Disappointed, you write another article, and the next thing you know ? They're at the top again.

It's true that you're hooked on Insta-Stories but also, you're starting to be strategically intentional about the way you share your content. You're beginning to pay attention to the order of people posting and wonder what it means.

We're aware that we shouldn't be concerned or get caught up in such trivial things However, we actually do. We're human beings. It's in our nature to feel noticed and appreciated (and should your significant other notices, that will not hurt also).

The content we post on social and give a glimpse into our lives, with the aim to make an impact, so it shouldn't be surprising that some users really want to know if the content they uploaded actually made an impact, and if there's any method behind the story-views madness.

So, let's get to the most important question on everyone's minds - how does Instagram place its users in the order of the people who view your post? Is there an actual algorithm behind the Insta-Story stalking we all love to do?

Yes, but not exactly in the way you believe. Here's how it's done:

In the beginning, the social platform put a lot of emphasis on showing the people users wanted to view. It was initially an orderly sequence, from the time you uploaded the story to your feed to how it appeared on other users' feeds during the course of the day.

Apparently, now it's contingent on who users interact with the most.

The names you see as the most popular list are the result of your engagement data collected by Instagram and Facebook.

"The Instagram algorithm recognizes who you are regularly interacting with and will then place them at the top of your Instagram Stories viewers list, because it knows those are the accounts you care about (or stalk), the most," said Julian Gutman, product lead for Instagram home.

It's a bit disappointing for a few of our Insta-Stalkers who are a bit grumpy, we're aware of that, but do not - there's always the possibility that they're stories show you how they rank in the top positions of their perspectives. One may never actually know.

Does the Order Even Matter?

Perhaps the bigger question to be asked is what makes people so focused on understanding how their Story viewers are arranged in the way they do.

Do you really care whether it shows that your aunt Doreen as the number one person or your high-school crush?

It's normal for business and influencers count on Instagram engagement metrics and analytics to understand how they can improve their relationships with the people engaging with them, but what happens to the average Instagram user? Do they really care?

Even more so when we will never be able to know what tricks Instagram has up its sleeve for this. It is possible that the viewers are displayed in order of chronologicality up to you have reached the 50th view, and then perhaps it switches to the most engaged viewers regardless of whether "engaged" simply means those who have lurked on your account the most.

The only thing we can say with certainty is that there is a huge demand for this knowledge. Like, really, really hungry. It's also easy to see when.

Lots of people look at the list of people who have viewed their story as a popularity factor and reaching at the very bottom of this list could help answer many questions that regular people using Instagram have, for example, one of the old million-dollar inquiries, "is my ex still into me? !".

Have you noticed Instagram listing Your Story views in a particular order? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

The most interesting part is the order in which Story views.

The Instagram Story Views Mystery

Ok, we're just going to spill the tea, since we want to make sure your efforts at stalking aren't wasted.

There is no way to know why Instagram chooses to show Story views in the way it does since it changes often, but there are plenty of half-baked theories that are doing the rounds (some that have some substance to them, while others seem to be a bit out on the edge of the field) up until Instagram decides to pour the tea.

Here's what we know:

The list of viewers isn't chronological, even though it may begin chronologically. This is true until the Story receives a certain amount of views, then the viewers' list is chronological based on who first watched it.

But what exactly does it mean when you see accounts that you've never heard of before get to in the middle of your list, or the top of your feed?

It's likely due to the Instagram's "timeliness" factor -- it's goal is to highlight new posts, so there's a lower chance to come across old posts, even if they're from the profile you like most. Instagram is working to display what's fresh and new since the last time you've used the app.

The list does not seem to originate from any activity data including public interactions, tags, likes, or comments. At the very least, it's not rooted in just this.

Then, there's some theories that is being discussed however, it's unclear if it is based on research actual facts or just an ill-informed guess.

In this way according to this theory, those who check out our posts the most frequently even though they don't follow our posts - are the most popular on our Instagram Story views list.

Basically profil lurkers as well as our stalkers rank at high on the agenda.

To test this theory there were a few Reddit users created fake accounts, and then viewed their primary profile numerous times via their alternative account, but without commenting or liking or engaging with anything.

What are the Reddit Results?

The fake "stalker" accounts started showing at the top of the Instagram Story views list. Weird? Or could it be Instagram has finally tapped into our stalker-like tendencies?

"So, I tried a little experiment with a friend of mine," said one Reddit user. "In fact for a couple of days I visited his profile a every day and requested that he not go to my profile in any way. After this was done for almost one week, my friend shared a story which, guess what was on the top of his list? Me!"

"I created another account using a different email address and stalked my own (original) profile every day," added another Reddit user. "I went through all my stories many times, went right back to the beginning of my profile, however I couldn't find anything, so it was like someone who was not identified as a stalker. After 3 days of solidly reviewing my profile, my new account placed first on the "view list' and then dropped to second place after my top viewer had seen the story."

There are plenty of other experiments in this area However, are people really seeing what they want to observe in this case?

Would Instagram really be this creepy?



How is the Order of Story Views REALLY Measured?

We already know that the order in which we display actual Stories on top of our feeds works using the same algorithm similar to the feeds we actually use. This has been proved by Paige Thelan, who works in tech communications at Instagram.

There are numerous questions about whether you check their profile, follow their feed post, make a comment on their feed, view their stories on a regular basis? Do you go and check your list of stories multiple times? If yes it, the algorithm tries to present a different set of people, it's trying to show you fresh information every time you check the list.

"Similar as the Feed, Stories can be organized based on which moments you're likely to be interested in the most. The order is using a variety of signals, including :

1.) the chance that you'll be most likely to be

2.) the timeliness of posts 2) the timeliness of the posts

3.) your relationships to the person who posted.

The technology is driven by machine learning, that is able to adapt to your actions and evolves over time."

She says "profile visits are considered, as well as likes and comments."

Be aware that this is just for the order Stories appear within our feed. It does not account for the way in which those Stories are ranked. In case you're wondering, if you check out Instagram influential person's stories every throughout the day, you'll see them at the top on your stories feed every day. The same is the reason why your close friends (and people you stalk) appear at in the upper part of your regular Instagram feed whenever you open the app, too.



The Truth About How Instagram Determines the Order of Who Viewed Your Story

Sure, there's research that comes from many sources that guess how the order is the order of the viewers are made.

The primary source of information to answer the question comes from Reddit where thousands of users have played with their Stories to determine which users would come up in what order.

Based on their research The user-testing has come to the following conclusion appear to have come up with two conclusions:

  1. The list of Story viewers is displayed with chronological reverse until there are greater than fifty viewers.

  2. At 50, Instagram then pushes those who are the most active with the Instagram account to the top. However, there is however, a caveat account views are given the highest weight in this calculation, according to the research.

Not entirely clear regarding how the order is formulated?

We too thought that way, and as with a forward-thinking curious media organization we decided to conduct a test to try and identify the factors that came into the equation.

Here are the results of the study, which includes each screenshot taken at least 50 different views from one another.

Although the viewer counts are about 50 views apart (aligning with the belief of listing the 50 first views in chronological order) However, the top spot on the list appears to be similar in both Stories.

This could indicate that neither of the theories were founded in any reality; we don't know why the first few are as the top of the list but we do know that it doesn't appear to be in chronological order or, at the very least, it doesn't seem to keep a chronological order.

Although the chronological theory and the theory of the view of profiles seem to be the two most circulated and talked about on digital thread but we know that Instagram is not dependent on one specific factor to establish these kinds of things.

We can speculate, speculate and really hope with wishful believe that the people on the first page of Stories list of viewers are the biggest followers (*cough* stalkers *cough*) Only the team at Instagram really know the details and obviously want to guard their recipe a secret for the duration of time they can.

For people, we'll have to wait and see if the story surrounding the algorithm will continue to be a part of our minds, but until that sauce (or tea) spills, we are free to believe that we are the ones who admire us.

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