Have you ever wondered how Instagram followers are ranked? 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 these questions are unknown to many of us, hence the curiosity after seeing the list of followers change from time to time.

Quick answer: Instagram no longer sorts followers chronologically unless you have less than 200 followers. Only then will you have them sorted alphabetically. Otherwise, Instagram’s AI will align your followers after considering multiple factors.

Today we are going to look at all the elements that combine to order your list of followers as it is. That said, not all requirements need to be met for everyone. This varies from account to account.

How are Instagram followers sorted?

As said above, if you don’t have more than 200 followers, then the case is simple. Your follower ranking will be chronological. However, this will not be the case with more followers because Instagram changed its algorithm in 2021.

Now the list depends on several factors which include the interaction between people, their tastes, the interests of both parties and recency.

You did not understand ? Of course. Here is the explanation.

Factor 1: Interaction between you and your follower

The first of many reasons why someone appears at the top of your followers list is the interaction you two have.

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

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

However, you must also follow the other person for them to be promoted to your list. Otherwise, it will remain at the bottom of the list and the people you follow will be placed above it.

Factor 2: Posting posts of the same interest

Another reason your followers list changes is when you and your followers post similar things.

For example, if you post a lot of posts about football and the other person posts pictures of animals, they will not be at the top of your followers list.

On the other hand, if they also upload football-related photos, the order will change.

In addition, the system is not limited to the publication of photos. Both of you can like, share or save similar things and it will work the same.

This is the role relevance plays in Instagram’s algorithm.

Factor 3: Visit someone’s profile often

If you visit someone’s account regularly, chances are they will overtake others on your followers list.

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

Factor 4: Recency

People who have followed you recently also have a chance to move up in the order of your followers. Since Instagram does show posts made most recently, chances are your new followers will appear at the top with their new content.

If they catch your eye, you can easily browse their profile and see what they post. If they have the same interest as you, they will probably stay on top. However, interaction remains an important factor.


So this was all about how Instagram followers are sorted. Many things are taken into account before ranking people in order, as we have seen.

Now you can take a look at your followers list to see who you have in mind. Most likely, these will be the ones you interact with the most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Instagram followers listed in alphabetical order?

The chronological order will be applied if the number of your followers is less than 200. Otherwise, the AI will rank them according to its algorithm.

Can I reorganize the list of my followers on Instagram?

No, you cannot. They are ordered by a special algorithm that cannot be changed.

What are the main factors allowing a person to be at the top of my list of followers?

The main factors, in short, are your relationship with the person, the relevance of the messages and sometimes also the recency.

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

Not really. A person who visits your profile will not necessarily be at the top of your list of followers. However, if he follows you and you both start having common interactions and interests, then the case will be different.