Instagram Story Viewer Content and How It Works


For the users of Instagram, you are now able to see a list of fellow users who have viewed your story and even track your analytics by using the Instagram story viewer.

instagram story viewer

For one to be able to maximize the use as well as the benefits they get from any Instagram story viewer app, it is compulsory that they fully understand how it works.

Instagram is no different. Getting to understand its various features is one step to getting full utility from the app. In this article, we look at its story viewer feature and how it works, all the way from how one can access their story viewers list, understanding the said list and so much more.

What then are Instagram Story Viewers?

Story viewers can be described as a list of other Instagram users or accounts that have viewed your Instagram story. The list usually contains not only the general total number of people or accounts that have seen your story but also the usernames of all the viewers. The general total number of views on the list usually also includes the replays. For this reason, one may see more views in comparison to the number of usernames.

total number of views

Instagram story viewers.

How to access your Instagram story viewers

If you want to access the viewers of a story that is actively published, all you need to do is open the story on Instagram and then swipe up.

When it comes to accessing the Instagram story viewers of a story that was posted more than twenty-four hours ago, and is therefore unpublished, you will follow the steps below:

Step 1: Tap the icon of your profile which is usually your profile image.

Step 2: Click on the hamburger menu.

Step 3: Tap on Archive.

Step 4: Scroll until you get to your story.

Step 5: Tap on the story and then swipe up.

How to access story viewers

How to access Instagram story viewers.

What is the duration for story viewers?

After publishing a story, your viewer list is then available up to forty-eight hours later. It is important to note that the Instagram stories are ephemeral, this means that they last a short time. After publishing, they disappear after twenty-four hours. The fact that you can still access them up to forty-eight hours after publishing means that the story remains available for up to another twenty-four hours after their time of unpublishing. 

It is also important to note that the Instagram viewers list is private and therefore only you can access it, or in the case that you are a business then you and your team have access to the account.

Converting an Instagram story to a highlight

It is also possible to make your stories last more than the normal 24 hours by pinning them to your profile in form of highlights. You can do this by:

Step 1: Tap on the ‘+’ sign that is usually in the section of Highlights on your profile. In case there is no such sign, simply tap the Story Highlights.

Step 2: Pick by selecting the story you would want to add.

Step 3: Select a cover photo as well as the desired name for your given highlight.

It is always advised to keep the titles of your highlights short but descriptive, as well as use innovative icons or chosen pictures for the cover of the highlights. In doing this, you ensure that your profile does not look clustered but instead is aesthetic and pleasing to onlookers, and in return, you will be able to boost the number of profile visits you get and your general engagement. I mean who would not want to follow an account that is aesthetically pleasing?

How to convert your Instagram story to a highlight.

How to convert your Instagram Story to a Highlight

The order of the Instagram story viewers list

The known and most widespread myth about the list of Instagram story viewers is that the list is arranged according to how frequent the said people or accounts have viewed your story. This is just a myth, a false one as a matter of fact, as that is not the case in any way. The order of the list is determined by an algorithm that is private and the public has no idea of how it works. 

There was a time when the list arrangement was dependent on the frequency of engagement between your account and theirs. There was also a system where the list arrangement was chronological. Yet another way was to combine both the ways, depending on the person that was in charge of theorizing then.

Julian Gutman made a statement in 2019 that stated that the people who are on that list are those who stalk your page the most. It was stated in 2021 March that the algorithm had changed and users believe that it has changed more since that March although the exact reasoning behind its way of listing people has not yet been pinned down. 

As there has not been an official statement from the Instagram team on the issue or an obvious prioritizing that has been pointed out, we can conclude that the order of the viewer’s list remains a mystery. That which is known to be a fact is that the order is not determined by the number of times someone watches your story or even how many times they visit your profile. So no, it does not show who stalks you. The good news however is that you can get a lot of information regarding your story viewers through the Insights about your stories.

If you want a deeper dive into your story viewers’ analytics, you can use Sharelov. It has story viewer analytics available on their dashboard. In the story analytics, there are different selections such as views, filters and even highlights views which allow you to see all the views as well as reactions to each and every one of your stories. 

Sharelov's Instagram Story viewers analytics

Story viewer analytics using Sharelov.


Understanding your Instagram story viewers is important especially for those who run personal branded accounts or even businesses accounts. This is because in understanding your audience, which you can tell based on what stories get more engagement, you will be able to know what exactly excites your audience and keep doing it. This in turn will tremendously improve your engagement altogether and even give you more traffic which is great for business as your brand will be seen to naturally grow.

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