Instagram Story Viewer: All You Need To Know

Feb 26, 2024 14 min read

Since its inception, Instagram has never stopped surprising us.

While the world continues to fight through challenging times, Instagram constantly adds and removes features faster than ever to its Story section to help creators and brands grow on the platform.

Popularly known as Instagram Story viewers, brands have been able to find their ideal target audience in those who view their Stories actively.

When Instagram launched Stories in 2016, it changed the way users view and interact with content on the photo-sharing platform - while prompting an entirely new question about who is viewing it the most. This is because those who view your Stories are the ones who follow you and are eager to check what's up with you.

This blog post has all that you need to know about Instagram Story viewers and how this feature of Instagram can be leveraged for the betterment of a business. Let's get started!

You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.

What Is An Instagram Story Viewer?

Instagram Stories are a terrific way to get more exposure and generate views. It's become a fantastic way for businesses to run their visual marketing campaigns, boost follower engagement, and tell stories.

People put out content on social media and give a glimpse into their lives with the intention to have some sort of impact. Hence it shouldn't be surprising that some users actually want to know whether what they posted really had an impact and if there's a method behind the story-views madness.

Instagram Stories actually overtook Snapchat in audience size and have grown to over 500 million daily active users today.

What started as a picture-sharing app has now become a crazy online business tool. Influencers, entrepreneurs, and even multi-billion brands use Instagram to engage with their target audience and get new customers.

People have begun to use Instagram Story viewer feature as a method of measurement. They have started to be strategically intentional about how they post Stories.

When Instagram provides a list of people viewing your Stories, its order is not randomized. There's a well-thought strategy behind that order that people have tried to decode and wondered what it meant for their Instagram growth.

Can You See Who Views Your Instagram Story?


Once your Instagram Story is up and live, you will start collecting views over the next 24 hours it's available. Unlike Instagram videos, which show a total view count and not the names of the individuals who viewed each video, Instagram Stories let you know exactly who has taken a look at your Stories.

But, you are the only one who can see the Instagram Story viewers list. There's no way to know how many times your Stories have been played back by a single viewer.

Interesting Read: How To View Instagram Story Anonymously

Can You See Who Views Your Instagram Story After 24 Hours?

Stories in your archive folder will show your viewers for the next 48 hours after posting your Stories. So if you wish to investigate who viewed your Stories, you will need to act quickly within 48 hours.

Instagram Archive

Set your account settings on Instagram to archive your Stories. Visit the horizontal three-dot icon from your Profile page to access your Archives section.

You can view who has seen your Stories up to 48 hours after you post them.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

The Instagram Story viewer order refers to the listing arrangement of the people who have seen a particular Story. The list and the order itself are more than just an ordinary queue of people who viewed your Story.

It gives creators an idea of who's most interested in their content. The Instagram Story viewers order isn't arranged chronologically; there's a well-thought-off algorithm behind the list.

Each Story that people see generates views. These views are arranged in an Instagram Story viewer list. To access this list:

Step 1: Open the Instagram app & tap on your profile picture at the bottom right side to go to your profile.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

Step 2: Tap on the hamburger icon in the top right & tap Archive.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

Step 3: Tap Archive from the menu.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

Step 4: Scroll to the Story whose viewers you wish to check.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

Step 5: Tap the Story. Swipe-up on the screen to see Instagram Story viewers.

Instagram Story Viewer Order

Image Source: NerdTechy

Those who viewed your Stories will appear here.

How Does Instagram Sort Story Viewers?

Several Instagram users have experimented with their Stories to know how the viewers are sorted. Most of these experiments suggest that the viewers' list appears in reverse chronological order until your Story gets 50 views.

Once your Story has crossed 50 views, Instagram starts sorting the list differently. It pushes the most interacting users with your account towards the top of the list.

A secret algorithm determines the way Instagram sorts the Story viewers. This algorithm considers the profile visits, likes, and comments to rank the viewers of a Story.

The order of Story viewers is based on how your followers interact with your profile on the platform instead of how you engage with these profiles. This means those people who visit your profile the most appear at the top of the list.

What Does Instagram Story View Order Mean?

One of the most potent abilities Instagram offers is seeing the list of people who viewed your Stories.

This order is essential for marketers and businesses who rely on Instagram engagement.

Instagram Story viewers order indicates who is more interested in your content. The order of Instagram Story viewers can help you work on improving relationships with the right people. The Instagram Story viewers order provides valuable insights to help marketers leverage the platform for better conversion rates.

How To Take Advantage Of Instagram Story Viewers Order List?

Engage with viewers correctly. Use the order list as a guide on who to engage first among all your Story viewers and get them to interact even more with your content.

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

1. Engaging With Higher-Ranked Instagram Story Viewers

The Instagram Stories viewers order serves as a useful tool for creators and brands to determine who among their audiences are the most interested in their content. To fully take advantage of this order list, you should have a good strategy for interacting with those at the top of the list.

  • Determine the most engaged users by tracking those who show up constantly in your list as having viewed a Story.
  • Repost and tag them in content related to Stories they have viewed.

Repost Instagram Story

  • Engage with them in conversations on Instagram in both public and private messages.

This strategy aims to bring your Instagram account to the top of their mind when they log in. Since they are already viewing your Stories, a little effort from your side can get them more engaged with your content. This will help you to move them down your sales pipeline or to your website more often.

2. Engaging With Lower-Ranked Instagram Story Viewers

Capturing the people's interest from the bottom of your Instagram Stories viewers order list is also vital for a creator or brand. When you notice people moving up in your list, it indicates their growing interest in your content and will help you deliver more quality content to them.

Profile view frequency is a significant factor for such viewers. Hence, creators need to get viewers moving from their Stories to their profile pages more often.

One of the ways to do this is by including a sticker link to your profile in your Stories. This feature lets people head to your profile page or any other link you provide just by tapping on the link in the Story.

Add visual cues and calls to actions around the link in your Story to entice viewers to tap on it and visit the profile.

Instagram Story Sticker

Instagram Highlight Viewer

Instagram Highlights are very similar to Stories, except they are permanently embedded in your profile until you delete them.

Highlights appear on your profile just after your bio section, letting you present what your business is all about. Unlike Instagram Stories, Highlights don't get deleted after 24 hours, and they are more used as an organized repository of your Stories session. You can also edit them periodically to keep your profile fresh and exciting.

Knowledge of Instagram Highlight viewers will let you know when to change or delete them based on their performance. However, Highlight viewing counts and who viewed a particular highlight are limited to a 48-hour window. After that period, these stats are gone forever.

Here's how you can access the list of your Instagram Highlight viewers:

Step 1: Open your Instagram profile.

Step 2: Tap the icon of the Highlight you wish to view the viewers of.

Step 3: Tap on the "Seen by" button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to see the list of Instagram Highlight viewers.

Major Instagram Story Updates In 2024

Stories are one of the most popular features of Instagram. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has announced significant updates to Instagram's Stories feature in response to the user feedback. Instagram aims to improve the user experience by introducing these features. Here's a quick rundown of the recent Instagram Story updates.

Update #1: Instagram Introduces 3D Avatars For Stories & DM

This feature is currently rolled out in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It's not just limited to Instagram - you can use these avatars on Facebook and Messenger too!

To make sure everyone feels represented, they have added a bunch of new options for customization. You can choose from various facial shapes, expressions, skin shades, and even assisted devices. This helps you to create an avatar that truly reflects you!

In the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl, Instagram had also added new NFL outfits.

Meta plans to make these avatars available to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger users worldwide in the coming months.

Update #2: Instagram Introduces Private Likes On Stories

Right now, when someone reacts to a Story, the creator gets a notification in their direct messages. But with this new feature, users can now like Stories without clogging up someone's inbox.

When you are checking out a Story, you will see a heart icon at the bottom of the screen, between the message field and the paper airplane symbol. Just tap that heart, and your like will be private.

The author of the Story can still see the likes in the form of heart symbols, but it won't be all cluttered up in their DMs.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared that the idea behind this is to let people express more support for each other while keeping the DMs a bit tidier.

Moving forward, Instagram aims to make the DM space more focused on conversations.

Update #3: Instagram Is Testing A New Layout For Stories

According to social media expert Matt Navarra, Instagram is thinking about hiding excessive posts, and only three Stories per user will be shown.

If someone wants to see more, they will have to tap to "show all."

People are a bit worried about this potential update because they think it might impact user engagement. Instagram hasn't made an official announcement. It's still in the testing phase.

But if it does become official, social media marketers will have to get creative. You will need to make sure your message is on point within those three Stories a day to make sure your content doesn't get overlooked.

Update #4: Turn Your Instagram Story Highlights Into Reels

If you have a Story highlight, you can now select "Create" and apply audio to sync your images, creating a Reel. You can even add or remove images from your camera roll to make it just right.

Instagram is really doubling down on video content. They want to make Reels the go-to format for videos, taking on the competition from TikTok.

According to the news release, Reels are becoming the fastest-growing content format. People on both Instagram and Facebook are spending more than half of their time watching videos.

For brands and content creators, this new feature is a great opportunity. It's an easy way to create Reels content and even revamp old content with a fresh twist.

7 Hacks To Expand Your Instagram Story Viewer Reach

While one should know how to make use of their Instagram Story viewer list and order, they should also take steps to increase that list. Here are the top hacks to expand your Instagram Story viewers’ reach organically.

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #1: Convert Your Stories To Highlights

When new people view your posts and Stories, they naturally navigate to your bio to find out more about your brand.

Greet your new profile visitors with a strong bio and engaging Story Highlights that introduce your brand to newcomers. This will help you build a more significant following and expand the reach of your Stories and profile.

NARS Cosmetics Instagram

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #2: Create High-Quality Content

Instagram ensures that all the new content is reaching its intended audience at the right time. However, this change in its algorithm has stirred up competition on the platform.

While more and more people try to hack and crack the Instagram algorithm, creating quality content remains at the core of a successful strategy.

Instead of spamming your followers' feeds for random views, create engaging content to build a long-lasting relationship with your followers. Instagram prioritizes the best and the most relevant content.

Your content should be relevant to your audience and persuade them to comment, like, view, save and share what you put out. The more your followers engage with your content; the more your Stories will be easily accessible on their feed.

Know more about 15 Instagram Content Ideas To Level Up Your Strategy

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #3: Post Stories Consistently

You should know that your Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours unless you add them in the Highlights section. If you don't post Stories after 24 hours, your profile will disappear from the Stories feed of your followers.

To keep your profile active in your follower's Story feed, it's recommended to keep posting Stories consistently.

The most recent Stories on your follower's feed are shown closer to the user's profile logo. Hence, it's advisable to post Stories in different slots rather than post all at once to keep your Stories at the top of your followers' feeds.

Instagram Stories

Image Source: Convince & Convert

If you want to be consistent with your posting efforts and don't want to miss a single slot, it's better to create and schedule Stories in advance with a Instagram Story scheduling tool like Statusbrew. And not just Stories; you can even & manage your entire Instagram presence from a single dashboard.

Statusbrew scheduler

Try Statusbrew

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #4: Ask Questions Using Instagram Polls And Question Stickers

Don't just use polls on your Stories, but make your polls such that everybody can participate.

Questions instigate more people to engage with your Story, telling Instagram that you are a viral content creator, and people want to see more of your stuff.

Ask the right questions using the Instagram Story question box in a way that fosters engagement. To get more people to pay attention to your Stories, give people an opportunity to talk about themselves rather than just asking about your brand, products, and services.

Instagram Story Sticker

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #5: Use Location Stickers And Geotagging

Location stickers and geotagging are powerful ways to increase your following and drive users to your physical location. Location stickers allow you to tag an address or physical location in your Story.

Instagram location Stories make your Story discoverable under the location tag search to new users. Instagram location Stories are an excellent way to get local exposure for your brand on Instagram.

This is excellent for brands with brick-and-mortar locations or those trying to target the audience of a specific area.

Instagram Story Location Stickers

Image Source: The Computer Lady

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #6: Edit Photos And Videos Before Sharing In Stories

Add proper effects to images and videos before adding them to your Stories. Making these edits won't take much time as it is done within the app before posting the Stories.

The editing feature is one of the valuable elements that can attract many users to your Instagram Story. Instagram allows you to use AR filters, templates, emojis, stickers, and various other options to enhance your Stories.

Proper editing can make your Stories more unique, attractive, or interesting. These editing options makes your displayed products stand out on Instagram for a better visual and interactive effect.

Also, Instagram algorithms like it when you make use of the available features in your Stories rather than posting blank ones.

Instagram Story Viewer Hack #7: Post At The Best Time & Schedule Stories In Advance

It goes without saying that knowing your audience's social habits will get the highest possible engagement for your Stories. The hours before work, lunch breaks, and late afternoon hours will bring you the most views.

While people prefer to post more Stories during the weekend, they are less likely to go through others' Stories at that time. This results in the generation of plenty of Stories and a few of them getting their viewership during the weekend.

The best day to post Instagram Stories is during the weekdays. Avoid the hours when people are busy working or sleeping. 7 to 9 PM is usually a good choice since people are not working and are relaxing from their day.

Instagram Best Time To Post

Statusbrew's Reports Lab extracts your best time to post according to your requirement

After you know your best posting times, all you need to do is ensure that you put them out at those times. A roadblock here would be shifting to different platforms to find your best time and then schedule it to post consistently.

By using the same platform to calculate your best time to post and schedules Stories only during peak hours will make avoid any human error in social media calender.

Statusbrew is a multi-purpose platform that ensures your Instagram profile is updated regularly and that none of the time slots miss out.

Want to discuss more? Snag a free trial today!

Try Statusbrew

Statusbrew is an all in one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the top viewer on Instagram story mean?

The "top viewer" on an Instagram story is the person who has viewed your story frequently & engaged with it the most. The list of viewers is arranged based on their level of interaction, & the top viewer is the one who has consistently shown interest.

How is the Instagram story viewer order arranged?

A study indicates that Instagram stories with under 50 views follow a reverse chronological order, while stories with over 50 views are arranged based on frequent engagements, highlighting the accounts that have actively engaged with your stories.

How can you see who views your Instagram stories the most?

Here are 3 easy steps to see who views your Instagram stories:

  • Open your Instagram app
  • View your story
  • Swipe up, and you will find the accounts/profiles that viewed your story

How does an anonymous Instagram story viewer work?

Some third-party tools help you to search Instagram story viewers by entering the usernames of the profiles you wish to check. To know more, read about ways to view Instagram Stories anonymously.

Rushali Das

Rushali is a B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in writing research-driven blog posts around marketing for B2B SaaS brands.

Explore the Statusbrew range of social media tools

Cancel anytime!