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Understand the Instagram Story Views Order and Take Advantage

Instagram Stories is being used to attract story viewers to the Instagram profiles of creators. Getting viewers on stories is great, but the Instagram Stories views order is a handy tool as it reveals useful information about viewers… If you know how to interpret it.

What is the Instagram Stories views order?

The Instagram Stories views order refers to the listing arrangement of the people who have seen a particular Story. The list gives creators an idea not just of the people who have recently viewed their stories, but also the ones who are most likely interested in their content. Creators can see their Story views list by swiping up on their screens while the Stories are playing.

Instagram Stories views order list

Instagram uses the Story viewer order to help creators gauge the level of interest each viewer has in their content. This helps the site effectively facilitate interactions between creators and their viewers. Instagram’s only comment on how it works so far has been:

“Similar to the feed, stories are ordered based on which moments you’ll care about most. The order is determined based on a number of signals, including: 1) the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content; 2) timeliness of the posts; and 3) your relationships to the person posting. The technology is powered by machine learning, which is adaptive to your behavior and improves over time. Profile visits are considered, as well as likes and comments.”

How the Instagram Story view order works

instagram logoTo better understand how the Instagram Story views order algorithm works, some users on the Instagram Subreddit experimented with the feature. These tests revealed that the site actually uses two different ordering schemes based on the number of views:

  • If a Story has been viewed by 50 people or less, the views list is arranged in a reverse chronological order.
  • Once the number of views goes past 50 Instagram switches to its more complex sorting algorithm.
  • This more complex order organizes viewers based on their level of interaction with the user.

These two sorting systems, which are not officially confirmed by Instagram, work together to show the most relevant people on the top of the viewers list.

Understanding how viewer relevance is determined

Of the two sorting systems, users are more interested in the second one, since this reveals audiences interest levels in their content. Instagram uses a variety of factors to determine this level of interest:

  • A viewer’s level of activity
  • The frequency of profile visits
  • Viewer interaction with a creator’s account with likes, comments, etc
  • Messages sent by the viewer to the Story poster

Each factor is given a specific weight that adds up to determine a particular person’s position on the Story views order. Of these factors, the testers determined that profile views have the largest influence. The tests showed that frequently visiting a user’s profile will put a particular viewer in a high position on the list without any other engagement.

The various tests also revealed that Instagram uses engagement data from Facebook for determining Stories view order. Since Facebook owns Instagram, this does not come as a surprise. However, how much this engagement data influences the viewing order is unclear.

Taking advantage of the Instagram Stories views order

The order serves as a useful tool for creators to determine who among their audiences are most interested in their content. To fully take advantage of this info, they need to have a good strategy for interacting with these people:

  1. Determine who the most engaged users are by tracking them when they show up as having viewed a story.
  2. Tagging them in content related to stories they’ve viewed.
  3. Engaging them in conversations on Instagram in both private and public messages.

The point of this strategy is to bring your account to the top of their mind when they log in. This will help you move them down your sales pipeline, or to your website, more often.

Engaging lower ranked viewers

Capturing the interest of the people from the bottom of their Instagram Stories views order list is also vital for creators. Moving people up the list will indicate their growing interest, and will help creators deliver more content to them.

Since profile view frequency is a significant factor, creators need to get viewers moving from their stories to their profile pages more often. One way to do this is by using the “Swipe up” function. This feature lets people head to a user’s profile page, or other links, just by swiping up on their screens while viewing Stories. The video below shows how:

However, the Swipe Up function is available only to those who have 10,000 or more subscribers. Those who doesn’t have that number can check out the follower providers listed here. An alternate way for those with smaller audiences to link back to their profile is by tagging themselves in their Stories captions. This inserts a clickable link:

Instagram Stories views order list

Adding visual cues and calls to action around the link helps entice viewers to tap on it and visit the profile.

Interacting with Story viewers

Proactively engaging with the Stories and accounts of viewers will also encourage them to visit a creator’s profile more often:

  1. When commenting on the viewers’ posts, creators should do more than just drop a link. They should focus on talking about the viewer’s content and how this relates to their own.
  2. This will encourage viewers to visit their profiles and increase these viewers’ positions in the Instagram Stories views order.
  3. Creators can take this idea further and engage their viewers on Facebook and Whatsapp. Since these three applications are under the same ownership, it is easy to share content among them.
  4. WhatsApp, in particular, is useful for engaging Instagram viewers on a more personal level.

These engagements will contribute significantly in moving people up the Instagram Stories view order, and show that Instagram is a two-way street.

Get more views by using the Instagram Story views order

The Instagram Story views order is a surprisingly handy metric that creators can use to gauge viewer interest in their content, and find out who is doing the engaging. Creators can take advantage of it by:

  • Knowing how the views order is determined: Creators should be familiar with the algorithm that is used in sorting their viewers list, and the factors that impact the listing.
  • Engaging viewers correctly: They should use the list as a guide on who to engage first among their viewers and get them to interact even more, especially when that person is an Instagram influencer on the rise.
  • Getting more viewers interested: Creators should strive to push lower ranked viewers to the top of their lists by leading them to more of their Instagram content.

These steps will help creators attract even more views to their Stories, make their account a focal point for many of their followers, and drive traffic to their pages.

Date: April 23, 2018 / Author: Ian

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