Social Media

What Does The Order Of My Instagram Followers Mean?

Here's what you should know.

Originally Published: 
What does the order of Instagram followers mean?

Have you ever been so bored that you stalk your own Instagram profile imagining you’re viewing it through the eyes of someone else? Be honest. Perhaps it’s gotten to the point where you click on your followers list and scroll through it too. If you’ve ever gone through your followers list — whether during a self-stalk session or otherwise — you may have noticed that your followers are not always organized chronologically or alphabetically. So what, exactly, is the method to the followers/following list madness?

Social media platforms often have elusive algorithms. Once you like one sushi bake video on TikTok your entire FYP becomes easy #FoodTok recipes. You save one nail inspo photo on Instagram and your whole Discover tab is chockful of manicures to lust over, and so on. You might think that the order of your follower list is totally randomized and means nothing, but that may not be the case. Here’s everything you need to know about decoding the order of your own followers list — and the follower list of whoever’s profile you’re lurking on.

What Does The Order Of My Instagram Follower List Mean?

First, you should know that it takes some time for the Instagram algorithm to kick in. That being said, if you’re a new Instagram account with under 200 followers, those followers are likely listed alphabetically by name, according to Vista Social. Once an account gets more followers and uses the app enough for Instagram to learn more about their interactions with other accounts, the order may change based on relevance. That means accounts you like, comment on, or message might be pushed higher and higher on the list. In some cases, though, your follower list will simply be chronological.

How To Reorder Your Instagram Following List

On the other hand, if you want to look through the accounts you’re following, you can take a few approaches when it comes to decoding the order. Fortunately, the latest version of the Instagram app allows you to organize the people you follow depending on your preference. There is the “Default” setting, which prioritizes people you interact with the most to the top, or you can press the up and down arrow icon to sort by “Date followed: latest” or “Date followed: earliest.” In doing so, you can see which of your followers have been loyal from the start and the accounts you’ve followed the most recently.

Essentially, there is no surefire way to know what exactly the order of your follower list means. But if you happen to be peeping at someone else’s account and who they follow, the accounts you have in common will most likely be at the top, which is a good tip to know in case you want to check if any of your mutuals are following your new situationship... you know, just in case.

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