Instagram Story views: everything you need to know in 2023

by | Jul 1, 2023 | Instagram

When you understand Instagram Story views on your account, you can use this to improve your content and have it shared more and grow, which is what we all want, right? Let’s go through everything you need to know about Instagram Story views, including what Instagram Story views are, how to see them, why you should be using Instagram Stories in 2023 and how to be seen by others. In other words, understanding Instagram Story views is a big step towards growing your Instagram account with your ideal followers.

WHAT ARE INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS?

Instagram Story views are the number and names of accounts that have seen a particular Story.  They’re visible for up to 48 hours, via Instagram’s Archive feature.

 

HOW TO SEE INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS

There are two ways to see Instagram Story views.

  1. The first, is by clicking on your Story while it’s live – in other words, in the first 24 hours of its life either in the Instagram phone app itself or on the desktop. You’ll see the total views and a list of accounts that have seen it.
  2. You can also click on the Instagram hamburger menu (the set of narrow lines on the top right), choosing Archive /  Stories / Stories Archive from a drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Story views are visible in the archive for 48 hours.

Find viewers of your Instagram Stories by checking your account archive within 48 hours of your Story going live. Once 48 hours has passed, details of Story viewers disappear.

 

HOW TO TRACK INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS

Given that Instagram Story views disappear after 48 hours, you have several options for tracking them. One is to track them manually, adding figures to a spreadsheet or Airtable every 24-48 hours. Another is to use a third-party tool such as Later’s scheduler in the Growth or Advanced plans. Later’s Free and Starter plans exclude this tracking.

 

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM STORY VIEW DATA

Continuous monitoring of your Instagram Story views gives you a feedback loop on your most popular content and top Story followers. This helps you see your most successful content and the content that failed, so you can create more successful Stories and fewer failures. It also allows you to test new types of content, happily knowing that it will be clear within 24 hours whether you should continue.

 

WHEN TO POST ON INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR THE MOST VIEWS

One of the easiest ways to help increase Story views on your Instagram account is to post when your followers are online. You can find out when this is by checking your analytics. Analytics can be seen via the hamburger menu / Insights / Total followers and scrolling down to ‘Most active times’. Here, you’ll see a graph showing the days and hours when your followers are online the most.

This gives you a range of best times to post. From these, you can choose when you’re going to post and test what times consistently bring you in the most Story views.

Find out when your followers are on Instagram by checking Insights in the menu and going to the 'Followers' section. Scroll down to see a graph of when your followers are online for each day of the week.

 

HOW MANY INSTAGRAM STORIES SHOULD YOU POST A DAY?

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri suggested in mid-2021 that posting two Stories a day is right for growing your account.  Other Instagram experts suggest posting regularly throughout the day so that whenever your followers visit Instagram – and usually it’s multiple times a day – there’s a new Story from you for them to see. Ultimately, you need to choose what is right for you, your business and your lifestyle. If you’re unsure, perhaps start with twice a day, at the start and end of business hours and see how that works.

A good rule of thumb for the maximum number of Stories a day, suggested by Fohr founder James Nord is that if you can’t easily count the number of white lines along the top of an account’s Stories, there are too many. Instagram allows you to post up to 100 Stories a day before it starts deleting the oldest ones, even before their 24 hours of life have expired.

 

WHAT HELPS YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES RANK HIGHER IN THE ALGORITHM?

Instagram explained on its blog in May 2023 that there are many factors that go into ranking your Instagram Stories, including:

  • VIEWING HISTORY: How often you view an account’s Stories, so the ones you view the most appear first
  • ENGAGEMENT HISTORY: How often you engage with that account’s Stories, such as responding with an emoji or message
  • CLOSENESS: Your relationship with the account overall.

This is similar to information Mosseri shared on his Instagram account in June 2021, explaining how the company tries to find content that best suits viewers, when he said ranking factors included post information such as whether the Story is a video or photo and account information such as how often it’s posted recently.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING INSTAGRAM STORIES IN 2023

Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to build relationships with your followers AND one of the best ways of being shared by other accounts, increasing the number of accounts seeing your content and potentially increasing your followers.

Stories are the ideal ‘snackable’ size of content for viewers with an ever-decreasing attention span. Photos last five seconds in the Stories feed and videos up to 60 seconds, which are perfect for simple ideas and updates. And because they’re so bite-sized, you can share a variety of topics that help viewers get to know you and your business.

They’re also easy to create when you’re pushed for time. You can go from “Oh, my followers might like this” to sharing it within minutes, unlike a grid post or Reel that do best with a thoughtful caption, carefully chosen hashtags and impactful visuals. They’re an update for your followers in between grid posts.

Choose whether other accounts can share your Instagram posts via the settings. By default, these are left on so that others can share your content on their Stories.

Also remember that when your Stories appear multiple times a day in someone’s Instagram account, it’s an excellent way for them to get to know, like and trust you, which in turn leads to bookings and sales for your business.

If you’re sceptical about this working, try going onto your Stories every day for a week and watching all of them. Check in with yourself after that week to see how you feel about those accounts, compared to the previous week. (If any accounts are posting an overwhelming number of Stories a day, you can mute them by going to their profile and tapping the ‘Following’ dropdown menu that will allow you to ‘Mute’ or hide their posts and/or Stories).

Stories are an important part of the Instagram ecosystem, given that everyone uses Instagram differently.  Some people will look mainly at Stories and very little at regular grid posts. Others will go straight to Reels and others again will browse their feed, Stories and the explore page. Using Stories as well as grid posts and Reels increases the touch points of your account with your followers, increasing the chances of you being seen.