If you’ve ever been to your followers or the following list on your Instagram page, then you’ve probably noticed that there’s no specific order to either list. They almost look random. You’d think that Instagram would order your followers and following list in order of who followed you recently (this is the case in some profile), but Instagram doesn’t do this.
You may also be confused as to why certain people are at the top of your followers and following list and certain people are not. Instagram hasn’t revealed how these lists are ordered but they’re based on some sort of algorithm.
Note: Instagram continuously changes the way these lists are ordered so there’s no definite way to know how these lists are ordered.
How the Followers List is Order
If you have less than 200 followers on Instagram, then the list will be organized in alphabetical order by the name on their profile, not by their username. If they don’t have a name attached to their profile, then they will be placed at the top of your list as a most recent follower above the alphabetically ordered list.
If you have more than 200 followers, then the list will be organized using an algorithm based on who you have the most mutual followers with and who you follow. The first part of anyone’s follower’s list that you view will be people that you follow, then from there when the people that you follow have run out, it’s then ordered by who follows you and you don’t follow back, then it’s ordered by who you have the most mutual followers with, then it’s who you’re most likely to follow.
Note: You need to be aware that Instagram changes this order/algorithm all the time. Recently, the follower’s list is based on who followed you recently and not so much alphabetical order anymore.
Because it always changes, sometimes you might notice that the follower’s list is based on who you interact with the most. You may see people at the top of your list that you interact with or they interact with you the most. For example, visiting each other’s profile, liking and commenting on each other’s posts, and messaging each other.
How the Following List is Ordered
The following list is not ordered in a specific way like the follower’s list is – It’s not in chronological order or alphabetical order. The following list is also based on mutual interaction. For example, who likes and whose posts you like, if you DM each other, comment on each other’s posts, tag each other in pictures, and visit each other’s profiles.
Instagram momentarily switches the followers and followings list from a chronological view showing people who you have recently followed and are following you to a random view based on each person’s Instagram profile. The followings list is now ordered who you follow and who you have the most mutual followers with. The first part of anyone’s followings list that you view will be people that you follow, then from there when the people that you follow have run out, it’s then ordered by who follows you and you don’t follow back, then it’s ordered by who you have the most mutual followers with, then it’s who you’re most likely to follow.
On Instagram in the following list, you’re now able to order the list by who you followed recently and who you followed last. To order this list, go to the Following tab, tap on Sort by Default, and check how you want the list to be other. If you chose the earliest, it will show who you followed first in chronological order. If you check the Latest, it will show you who you followed recently in chronological order.