Instagram has a ton of features with, hopefully, more coming. However, the one feature that stands out the most is Instagram Stories. And, have you ever wondered ,how to check who shared your stories? Or how Instagram story viewer order works? Well, we will focus on the latter and you can read up on the former.

Briefly About Instagram Stories

The point of Instagram Stories is that users get to share moments as soon as they happen. It is also a way for marketers to advertise their posts, and products to their followers directly. The story lasts for 24 hours but users can save them into collections with their own profile pictures to add to their Instagram accounts branding. However, users do not know if their ,stories have been screenshot by their followers or other users.

 Instagram application menu on smartphone screen close-up.

The feature came into existence in August 2016. And by 2017 the feature overtook Snapchat due to its growing audience size. This would make sense since Snapchat and stories have similar functions. But, the early difference between the two apps is that stories have a ,heavy reliance on algorithmic ranking, seemingly more than that of Snapchat.

How Stories Order is Made

On your Instagram app for both Android and ISO, you can see the stories from your followers at the very top of your homepage. The order of the stories is made similar to the order of the posts that you view. The thing with Instagram is that it uses an algorithm that is based on machine learning. This means that the app notices which profile or types of profile you interact with the most when compared to others. The algorithm takes into account the profiles whose posts you like, comment on the most. As well as which users you DM and most.

This applies to the stories as well. As in the users whose stories you always check out will appear first on your list at the top of your Instagram app. However, there is a noticeable difference between the algorithm of your feed versus the algorithm of stories. Stories do not only look for interaction, but they focus ,more on the “signal”.This means that the stories algorithm takes note of your pattern of behavior. When it has figured out how you use the app it then makes the algorithm and order of stories according to how you use Instagram. This type of algorithm tracks your Instagram behavior by looking at:

Your Interactions

As we have mentioned Instagram looks at your interactions with other users’ profiles be it in terms of likes, comments, DMs, and even bookmarking. Instagram will move the profiles that you interact with the most to the beginning of your story order list. The logic behind this is that if you interact with certain profiles more than others, you are most likely to watch those profiles’ stories more than your other followers. This can also apply to the explore page.

Your Interests

Another thing that is taken into account by the algorithm is your interests. This is when you search for something in the search bar at the top of the explore page. Be it a hashtag or a certain profile. If you do this often enough with the same user names or hashtags, then Instagram will notice, and then prioritize these users’ stories before others on the explore page.


Experience, according to Instagram, is when they pick up on your habits when viewing stories. As in if you log into your account and you look for a story from a particular user to watch it first, Insta will take note. Thereby, Instagram will make this user’s story first on your list after a while so that you do not have to look for them on your list.

A man hand holding iphone with search page screen of instagram application.

Even if the story is old, it does not matter. Instagram views this user’s stories as important to you and will put it at the top until you watch it or until it 24 hours runs out. This way of thinking, on Instagram’s side, also relates to…


Instagram usually orders the stories from the oldest to the newest according to when they were posted. However, if they notice that you interact with or watch a story before the rest, out of order, then the app will take this “experience” and make that story come first. Regardless of when it was posted. They want you to watch the content you are interested in above the ones that you just skip by.

Viewers Order

The above points can also apply to how Instagram orders the users that view your stories. When you go to your story you will notice that the same followers are at the top of the list in the left, bottom corner of your screen. This is because these are the users that frequent your stories due to timing, interests, support, etc. Much like who you interact with other profiles that you are more interested in. Therefore, your profile picture can appear on top of their viewers’ list on their stories too.

Rounding Off

The Instagram algorithm when it comes to stories looks at interaction, interests, experience, and timeliness to make stories that you want to watch first be on top of your list. The algorithm seems to be user-tailored meaning that every user can have a different algorithm tailored to them. This is done so that users can spend more time on the app, without wasting it. If a user has to always look for the stories they want to view first they can lose interest and log off. Instagram does not want this.

Hence, they use machine learning to see what you are watching first. And keep wanting to come back to check out certain user’s stories without the hassle. We hope this article has shed more light on the inner works of Instagram stories. As well as answer your questions. If you would like to read more about the Instagram world while also learning to grow your followers, check out ,10 Instagram posts and story ideas for max engagement.