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Instagram Story Viewer Order – How Is It Determined? (Answered + Details)

Have you looked at your Instagram Story viewers, and are wondering how Instagram determines the order?

Or, perhaps you just viewed someone else’s Story, and you’re interested in where you’ll show up.

The truth is, Instagram uses a simple algorithm for Stories with less than 50 views, and a more complex algorithm for Stories with more than 50 viewers. In this article, I’ll be breaking both of these down in detail. I’ll also show how you can avoid showing up in the viewers list at all, if you wish to do so.

Let’s get started!

What Is The Order Of Instagram Story Viewers? How Are Instagram Story Views Sorted?

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Depending on the amount of people who viewed the Story, the exact algorithm will be different.

If the Story has less than 50 total viewers, the viewers will be sorted in reverse-chronological order. This means that the people who viewed the Story first will appear at the bottom of the list, and the people that viewed it more recently will appear at the top of the list.

This can be useful, because it makes it easier to recognize new people that have viewed your Story.

If a Story has more than 50 viewers however, a much more complex algorithm is used.

Instead of it being based on the order in which people viewed your Story, Instagram will tailor the list to the creator’s individual account.

Typically, the people who you have the closest connection to on Instagram will appear first.

These may be people you’ve DMed the most, interacted with their posts, visited their profiles most frequently, and so on. Alternatively, these may be the people that engage with you the most – even if you don’t ever engage with them.

Unfortunately, the exact details of the algorithm are not made public. However, it’s theorized that it’s designed this way to encourage more interaction between users, and even introduce you to other accounts with similar interests as you!

Because the order with 50+ viewers is algorithmic however, it is possible for the viewers list to change over time. For example, an account that was previously on top may end up getting pushed down, as Instagram deems new accounts to be a better fit for those top spots.

Tip: Want to try and stay under the 50 viewer limit? Click here to learn how to keep bots from watching your Instagram Story!

If You Rewatch A Story, Does Your Name Go Back To The Top?

As mentioned earlier, Stories with less than 50 viewers are sorted by the accounts that viewed them first.

But what if you end up rewatching a Story for the second time? Will you move up in the list, back towards the top?

Currently, the answer is no. As long as the Story remains under 50 viewers, your place in the list is fixed – meaning it won’t change, regardless of how many times you watch the Story.

It is entirely based off of your first viewing. While more people can appear on top of you in the list, you will always remain the same number of spaces from the bottom unless the Story gets more than 50 viewers.

Keep in mind, there is no way to know how many views a Story has gotten unless the creator shares that information, or uses a Sticker that would make this obvious.

However, you can generally expect that accounts with a low number of followers (under 500) are under the 50 viewer limit, and accounts with large followings (several thousand or more) will have more than 50 Story viewers.

Again, there’s usually no way to know for sure – but these are good estimates to go by!

Can People Tell How Many Times You’ve Viewed Their Instagram Story?

So, we now know that your position in the list of Story viewers won’t change, even if you rewatch the Story multiple times.

But is there any way for people to tell how many times you’ve viewed their Story? Will they know that you’ve rewatched it anyway?

Thankfully, the answer is no!

Instagram does not share how many times a specific person viewed someone’s Story. So, there is absolutely no way for the creator to find out.

The only exception is if you interact with the Story multiple times. For example, if the Story had a poll that asked you to submit an answer, filling it out multiple times would prove that you rewatched the Story multiple times.

As long as you don’t interact with the Story however, there’s no way for creators to see how many times that you’ve viewed it.

How To Avoid Showing Up In The Viewers List

If you’re worried about someone noticing that you’ve viewed your Story, there’s actually things you can do to prevent yourself from showing up on the viewers list.

This is true even if you’ve already viewed it! I’ll share that strategy in just a moment.

First, let’s look over some of the other options, as it’s ideal to avoid ever showing up in the viewers list in the first place.

This can be done for example, by using an anonymous Instagram account, that doesn’t appear to be tied to you in any way.

Instagram allows you to have multiple accounts. So, despite the fact that your anonymous Instagram account will show up on the viewers list, they will have no way to know that it was you.

Secondly, you can also use a Story viewing website, like These sites all typically work the same way – you type their Instagram username in, and the website fetches their Stories for you.

Unfortunately, this only works for public accounts – they can’t access private accounts, so they can’t pull the Stories from them.

Finally, if you’ve already watched a Story and you want to disappear from the viewers list, you can always block them. This is a drastic option for sure, but it will ensure that you disappear from the viewers list for good!

To learn more about how to view someone’s Instagram Story anonymously, click here!


If an Instagram Story has less than 50 viewers, they will be listed in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent viewers appearing first. Watching the Story a second time will not change your order in this list.

For Stories with more than 50 viewers however, Instagram uses a tailored algorithm to show you your closest connections first.

I hope that this article has answered all of your questions. If you have any other questions about Instagram Stories, ask them below and I’ll try to respond within 24 hours.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister


One response to “Instagram Story Viewer Order – How Is It Determined? (Answered + Details)”

  1. This article was super informative and really cleared up a few things for me. I’ve always wondered how the Instagram Story viewer order worked, and you’ve explained it perfectly. 👌

    I found the tip about maintaining under the 50 viewer limit particularly interesting. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when posting my next Story! 🎯

    And who knew you could avoid showing up on the viewers list at all? That’s some proper 007 stuff right there! 😎

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