Instagram Following List Order Algorithm 2023


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Instagram is a social media platform that revolves around the concept of followers and following. As you create an Instagram profile and begin to post content, you will inevitably start to gain followers.

These followers will be listed in chronological order based on when they started following you. However, Instagram uses a list-based algorithm to determine the order in which your following list is displayed.

This algorithm takes into account various factors such as how recently a follower has engaged with your content, whether they have less than 200 followers, and other undisclosed criteria.

The followers who fall under these criteria will appear at the top of your list and will be most likely to appear at the top of the following list of others.

The Instagram following list order is sorted dynamically, meaning it can change frequently and is not based solely on the account’s age or follower count. Understanding these algorithms can help you curate a following list that is beneficial to your Instagram presence.

So, let’s get started!

What Is Instagram Following List?

When you follow someone on Instagram, they appear in your ‘Followings’ list. This list is organized based on how often you interact with each person, like their posts, or message them.

It also takes into account whether you have mutual followers. By looking at your followings list, you can get an idea of who your closest online friends are.

This platform uses a simple algorithm to organize your followers lists. It takes into account who has interacted with your profile the most recently and shows those people at the top.

This means that if someone from your followers list likes, comments on, or shares one of your posts, they will be moved to the top of the list.

To see a list of the people you’ve followed recently, simply open your home page. Tap on the profile icon marked in the image.

Then, click the ‘Following‘ tab. This will show you a list of all the people you’re following, sorted according to how often you interact with them.


What Is Instagram Followers list?

When you log in to Instagram, the first thing you see is a selection of content from people you follow. At the top of your profile page, you’ll see things like your profile picture, username, and how many followers and posts you’ve liked.

To see who is following you, click on the ‘Followers‘ list and find out!

What Is Instagram Following List Order in 2023?

In 2023, when viewing a third-party account’s following list on Instagram, it will be ordered based on the amount of interaction between that account and yours.

This means that accounts you often like or get likes from will be at the top. In addition, direct messaging, commenting, tagging, and visiting their profile often will also put that account higher on the list.

If you look at your own followers list, you can now sort it differently while you’re logged in. This means you can now organize the list of accounts you follow on Instagram.

When you are logged in, go to your profile page. There will be a number next to the word “Following”. Click it and two arrows will appear.

The “sort by” feature will allow you to group your followings based on the earliest or latest account you followed.

How Your Followers List Is Ordered?

Instagram arranges your followers list a bit differently; they put the accounts of your recent followers at the top. But other than that, it’s hard to know what order they use to decide who shows up on your list.

Nobody really knows exactly how Instagram orders this list, but we do have some tips that might help you understand what you see when you look at your following and follower lists!

Just remember that there’s no specific order for these lists.

Account With Less Than 200

Accounts with fewer than 200 followers are arranged differently on their followers list.

Instead of the oldest accounts appearing first, those who follow the account most recently show up at the top. But when you look at someone else’s follower list, the order will be different.

If they have fewer than 200 followers, the list of accounts will be arranged in alphabetical order based on their profile name. If they don’t have a name, they will appear at the top of the list.

This is usually true, but sometimes the list is organized differently. That’s because it’s based on special algorithms.

Accounts With More Than 200

Three factors determine who shows up on your followers list: relationship, relevance, and recent interactions. The key fact here is that Instagram doesn’t follow one rule to order your followers list on your account.

The photo-sharing app may take a different approach for different accounts.

So, when it comes to your followers list on Instagram, three main things are taken into consideration:

  • How close your relationship is?
  • How relevant the person is to you and your content?
  • How recently you interacted with them?

Every account may be arranged differently on this list, as Instagram doesn’t keep just one rule in place.

How Someone’s Else Followers List Is Ordered?

When looking at someone else’s followers list, the accounts that appear first are ones you have a mutual connection with. In simple words, it is similar to when you see someone else’s following list.

This can include accounts you’ve recently liked posts and messages from or interacted with in some way. This is because the algorithm shows the accounts based on your recent activity.

The people you follow will also appear toward the top of the list.

insta following

How Does the Followers/following List on Instagram Algorithm Work?

An algorithm, the specifics of which are not known to the public, determines the followers and following lists on Instagram.

However, many people have studied it and have seen that the list is organized based on factors such as frequency of posts, number of times someone has interacted with them, or recent activity on the platform.

Let’s take a look at these factors.

1. Mutual Followers on Instagram

Mutual followers are other Instagram accounts that follow both you and someone else. They appear at the top of the list of people that the person follows, so it’s easy to find out who you have in common.

Even if you don’t follow these mutual followers back, they will still show up. This helps you easily identify people you may know through a connection.

2. Mutual Following List on Instagram

Mutual following on Instagram is when two people have a similar following list. It can help you identify shared interests with someone else, like if you and another brand both follow the same group of food influencers.

If that’s the case, then when you look at the followers’ list of one of those influencers, it’s likely that both you and the other brand will be shown near the top.

3. Get Mutual Interaction Data

Interacting with other Instagram accounts is important in order to build relationships. This includes liking, commenting, saving, and sharing posts.

The more often your client interacts with someone else’s account, the higher they will be on each other’s follow lists. Even if they don’t actually follow each other, interacting can put them at the top of the list.

However, users who are followed by both parties and frequently interact with one another’s content will rank even higher. Connecting with people on Instagram goes beyond just liking their posts and following them.

When you interact directly with someone, such as by tagging them or sending them a direct message, it signifies a more meaningful relationship. These kinds of interactions can have a bigger impact on who you follow and who follows you.

4. People That Follow You

When it comes to your followers list on Instagram, people that follow you will appear towards the top. This is because Instagram wants you to visit their profiles and potentially follow them, in case you already know them.

As a result, this encourages you to spend more time on Instagram, as you’ll be looking at their posts and content.

5. People Who Stalk You

Stalking someone on Instagram does not mean that the person will appear at the top of your following list. This is because the list algorithm doesn’t take into account whether or not a user has been stalking you.

So, even if someone frequently visits your profile, they may not show up first on your following list.

If someone stalks your social media posts but doesn’t follow you, there’s a good chance that they’ll appear in your following list, or even at the top if they message or watch your stories regularly.

6. People Who Followed You Recently

Keeping track of who is following you on social media can be tricky, but there’s an easy way to do it. If someone has recently followed you on a platform, they will show up in the “People Who Followed You Recently” list.

That way, you can easily stay informed of who is joining your followers!

Instagram places newly followed people at the top of the list because it assumes you have some kind of relationship with them. If you do follow back, that person will always be at the top of the list.

7. Geolocation

Location matters when it comes to Instagram followers. If someone is close to your client’s city, they are likely to appear higher on the following list.

For example, accounts from the US may be more likely to show up at the top for a US-based client. It is also more likely that people from the same city or who have previously interacted with the account will appear higher on the following list.

8. A High Following and Number of Followers

Having more followers or following more Instagram accounts can increase your visibility and boost your place in someone else’s following list.

Conversely, having fewer followers or following fewer people will decrease your visibility, meaning you’ll be at the bottom of a client’s following list.

9. Lots of Posts

Having more posts can give your Instagram account an edge, as it can be placed higher up on the list of followers and followers.

This happens because accounts with more content are more likely to keep people involved since they have more to explore. So, if you want your profile to be seen first, having plenty of posts is one of the best strategies you can use.

10. Popular Followers/Following List Algorithm

If someone is a popular Instagram user, they may show up near the top of someone else’s list of followers and people they follow.

Verified accounts (those with blue check marks) generally appear at the bottom of these lists, but if there are many interactions, those accounts can be pushed higher.



Thus, Instagram’s followers and following list order algorithms have gone through various changes throughout the years. The default setting for both lists is to display them in order by most recent follower/following.

This algorithm is nest-based, meaning that it takes into account various factors that determine the order in which accounts are displayed.

Users have the option to see the list in chronological order or with their own customization. Regardless, the list is always at the bottom of the list, ensuring that users can easily navigate through their followers and followings.

While this algorithm may be confusing at times, it ensures that users see the accounts that are most relevant to them.

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