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How Are Instagram Followers Sorted?

Ever wondered how are Instagram followers sorted? What makes person A appear above person B? Why do some people have a chronological order of followers and others don’t? The answers to all of these questions are unknown to many of us, and thus the curiosity after seeing the followers list changing from time to time.

Quick Answer

Instagram no longer arranges the followers in chronological order unless you have less than 200 followers. Only then will you have them arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, the AI of Instagram will line up your followers after taking notice of multiple factors.

Today we will be looking at all the elements that combine to order your followers list the way it is. Having said that, not all the conditions need to be met for everyone. It varies from account to account.

How Are Instagram Followers Sorted?

As told above, if you don’t have more than 200 followers, then the case is simple. Your arrangement of followers will be chronological. However, it won’t be the case with more followers because Instagram changed its algorithm in 2021.

Now the list depends upon several factors that include interaction between people, their likes and dislikes, interests of both parties, and recency.

Didn’t understand? Of course. Here’s the elaboration.

Factor #1: Interaction between You and Your Follower

The first of the many reasons why someone would appear at the top of your followers’ list is the interaction you both have.

The more you like and comment on each other’s posts, the more you chat, and the more you post the things of the same interest, the algorithm notices and rearranges your followers’ order.

It could be both one-way or two-way interaction. Not necessarily; it has to involve both parties interacting with each other. Only your follower can like and comment on your posts or vice versa, and they will be promoted.

However, you must be following the other person as well for them to rank up on your list. Otherwise, they will stay below, and those you follow will be placed above.

Factor #2: Making Posts of the Same Interest

Another reason for your followers’ list to change is when you and your followers are posting similar things.

For instance, if you are posting a lot about football and the other person is posting pictures of animals, then they won’t be at the top of your followers’ listings.

Contrarily, if they are also uploading photos related to football, then the order will change.

Besides, it isn’t only limited to just publishing pictures. Instead, you both can like, share, or save similar things and it will work the same.

This is the role that relevancy plays in Instagram’s algorithm.

Factor #3: Visiting Someone’s Profile Often

If you regularly visit someone’s account, they’re highly likely to exceed others on your followers’ list.

On the other hand, if someone else visits your profile often, then that is not a criterion for them to appear higher.

Factor #4: Recency

The people who have followed you recently also have a chance to make progress in your followers’ order. Since Instagram does show the publications made most recently, there’s a great chance that your new followers appear at the top with their new content.

If they get your attention, you can easily go through their profile and see the stuff they post about. If it is of the same interest as you, then they will likely stay at the top. However, interaction will still be a major factor.


So, this was all about how Instagram followers are sorted. A lot of things are considered before ranking people in order, as was seen.

Now you can go and take a look at your followers’ list to see who you have at the top. Most likely, they will be the ones you interact the most with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Instagram Followers arranged alphabetically?

Chronological order will occur if your followers’ count is less than 200. If not, then the AI will order them according to its algorithm.

Can I rearrange my followers’ list on Instagram?

No, you cannot do so. They are ordered by a special algorithm that can’t be altered.

What are the main factors for someone to be at the top of my followers’ list?

The main factors, in short, are your relationship with the person, relevancy of posts, and recency as well, sometimes.

Can a stalker be at the top of my followers’ list?

Not really. Someone who visits your profile won’t necessarily be at the top of your followers’ list. However, if they follow you and you both start to have interactions and common interests, then the case will be different.

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