Updated: February 2024
Curious about the Instagram order of likes and how it shapes your social media experience? Well, you’re in the right place for a deep dive into this intriguing aspect of Instagram’s universe!
Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed, wondering why some posts get more likes faster than others, and whether there’s a secret order to this digital popularity contest?
Well, my friends, you’re about to unlock the mysteries of Instagram’s like algorithm, and it’s a journey you won’t want to miss!
Whether you’re a new or experienced Instagram user, you may have noticed an order for likes and followers. Generally speaking, Instagram uses an algorithm to rank the likes you receive on a post.
They also use a similar algorithm for ranking your followers. If you want to grow your account, you may wonder how this order works. If so, then you’re not alone.
In this guide, we’ll cover the order of Instagram likes and followers and help you find an answer.
Why Does This Information Matter?
Why should you care about the Instagram order of likes and followers?
One of the best ways to grow your Instagram channel is by understanding its algorithms. Social media platforms use algorithms to create feeds, rank posts, and suggest people you should follow based on your habits.
In a nutshell, algorithms personalize social media use and make experiences more enjoyable. When you figure out how social media algorithms work, you can gain more followers and likes on your content.
You’ll also know how to create Instagram content that tailors to Instagram’s algorithms and the preferences of your target audience.
How are Instagram Followers Ordered?
The order of Instagram mutual followers can vary. Usually, it’s a list arranged in chronological order.
What does that mean?
The people at the top of the list are the ones who’ve recently followed you, and the ones at the bottom are your first followers.
Some Instagram users have reported that your followers’ list is arranged alphabetically (only if you have less than 200 followers). However, it’s important to note that your Instagram list of followers doesn’t indicate how much each person interacts with your content.
Nonetheless, you can gain some useful insights from it. For example, you can always find out exactly who is following you at what period of time. You can even check to see if people have recently unfollowed you.
If you’re running a growing Instagram channel, it’s definitely in your best interest to closely monitor your Instagram followers list. That way, you can adapt your Instagram content strategy based on whether you gain or lose followers.
Related Reading: Instagram Insights on Desktop
Instagram “Following” List Order
If you look at who you are following on Instagram (and not who follows you, as we shared above), you may be surprised that this list isn’t chronological. Instead, the people at the top of the list are typically the ones you interact with the most (the default setting).
Pro-tip: Instagram allows you to choose how to sort your “Following” list. You can sort by:
- Default (most interactions)
- Date followed (latest)
- Datre followed (earliest)
Note that this feature is only available on the mobile app. To access it, navigate to your profile. Click “Following” and then the up and down arrow icon to change your sort settings.
Screenshot by Brandon Lee
This list may also feature verified accounts that regularly interact with your content.
There’s a lot of useful information you can gain from this list of people. For example, you can figure out which people following you engage with your content the most.
This data is important for two main reasons. For one, you can interact closely with the people you follow on Instagram and collaborate in the future.
Next, you can stop following people who don’t engage with your content. This step is useful if you want to maintain a healthy ratio between followers and the accounts you’re following on Instagram.
How are Instagram Likes Ordered?
Let’s explore more information about the Instagram order of likes.
The order of likes on your account is probably one of the most debated topics on Instagram. The most popular opinion is that its algorithm orders your Instagram likes.
The exact manner in which this takes place isn’t clear, especially since Instagram hasn’t confirmed anything. However, there are three main theories about how Instagram likes are ordered:
- Theory #1: Your likes list is arranged based on the accounts you interact with the most.
- Theory #2: The order of your list of likes is based on the people “stalking” you.
- Theory #3: The order can be based on the accounts you “stalk.”
Let’s explain each of these theories below.
Some Instagram users believe that their list of Instagram likes is based on the accounts they interact with the most. If this is true, then that means you can easily find out how often your followers are engaging with your content.
If you care about your following-to-followers ratio, this theory makes the most sense. Having 1,000 following accounts and only 200 followers can look awkward. If you can see which followers like your content the most, you can eliminate accounts that don’t show the same support.
Instagram stalkers are a real phenomenon. Almost every Instagram user has encountered a stalker who likes all of their posts. With that said, it’s possible that Instagram can reveal who is stalking your account.
Of course, not all Instagram stalkers are negative. Sometimes, you may have loyal followers who engage with all your content because they’re fans. Other times, you could be faced with stalkers who could threaten your privacy.
In this case, you should make your account private and block suspicious accounts.
If you regularly lurk on other people’s accounts, there’s a chance their likes will show up first on your content. If this theory holds true, you could be surprised to see new followers like your content.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been “stalking” a fashion influencer for a few months. If this theory is true, this influencer’s likes will climb to the top of the list since you’ve been interacting with them for a long time.
How to Get More Followers on Instagram
Now that you know how Instagram likes and followers are ordered, it’s time to explain how to grow your audience. These strategies can help you score more followers on Instagram, increase your reach, and create more viral content.
Use All Instagram Content Formats
Diversifying your content format is a great way to keep your content engaging and experiment with new ideas.
That said, you should create a content calendar to organize your new content ideas and adjust your formats for the best engagement.
Publish Great Content Consistently
Instagram’s algorithm creates user feeds based on how people engage with your content. If you create content people love, it’ll continue to appear in your follower’s feeds (along with people who are unfamiliar with your brand but enjoy similar content).
If no one interacts with your content, it’ll continue to stay that way if your content standards aren’t up to par. This means you should prioritize creating exceptional content regularly.
It’s important to note that quality is more important than quantity. Publishing two funny posts will be more effective than publishing one video a week.
Develop Your Own Style
When original content receives steady traction, it can go viral. This virality can cause new social media trends to emerge. In other words, original content gives birth to trends that make social media platforms a fun place to be.
If you constantly create original content, you can easily land on the good side of Instagram’s algorithm. Also, you can gain the love and admiration of followers who appreciate original content creators.
Focus on Entertainment
Instagram is home to millions of celebrities and influencers. So, if you’re looking to create dry educational and sales content, Instagram is likely not the right place (LinkedIn is your best friend for that).
Users love to interact with their favorite accounts, meaning you should create content that keeps them entertained. The content that performs the best on Instagram are:
- Behind-the-scene photos
- User-generated content
- Motivational quotes
- Influencer content
- Video tutorials
Also, keep in mind that Instagram content shouldn’t be too complicated to grasp. If you want to build a successful brand on IG, stick with content that entertains your audience.
Instagram hashtags explain what your content is about. Using Instagram hashtags can connect your posts with similar ones. This strategy can have an echo effect and introduce your content to new audiences.
In fact, the hashtags you use can have a significant impact on your content’s performance. For example, let’s say you’re creating fashion videos for your audience.
Using hashtags like “fashion” and “women’s clothing” can point your posts to people who enjoy this kind of content.
Study Your Competitors
Another secret tip to help you grow your Instagram account is to look at other successful profiles that create similar content.
The goal isn’t to create a carbon copy of the Instagram Story they just posted. Rather, you can study their strengths and weaknesses and adjust your Instagram marketing campaign.
So, it’s important to point out that you should still employ your own Instagram style. Copying your competitors can alienate your audience if they pick up on it.
The most successful Instagram users know how to find the balance between studying their competitors and creating original content.
Instagram Order of Likes: FAQ
What do the order of likes on Instagram mean?
Some Instagram users believe that their list of Instagram likes is based on the accounts they interact with the most. This is the most probable theory.
Does the order of likes on Instagram matter?
Yes, the order of likes on Instagram matters. The platform’s algorithm monitors interactions, including likes, to personalize user experiences and influence post visibility
Final Words about the Instagram Order of Likes
Overall, the order of Instagram likes and followers is up for debate. There are several theories regarding Instagram like order.
While there is no definitive answer, you can still look to these theories to learn more about Instagram’s algorithm, create better content, and grow your profile.
Here’s to your Instagram success!
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Brandon Lee is a content marketing expert who helps businesses master the art of storytelling and creating amazing digital content. When he’s not writing or reading, you can find him spending time with his beautiful wife and kids.