Is Instagram revealing my stalkers?
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Is Instagram revealing my stalkers?

– A lot of us have some wild ideas about how Instagram
works and it’s probably because we’re confused
why the app’s arranged in certain ways. Like why is one person in my
feed first versus someone else? Or, more crucially, why is my crush always at the top of my story viewers? Is it because they’re stalking my page? Here’s what I know. Instagram has one billion
users, including myself, and the app hasn’t been super forthcoming about how its algorithm works. The company treats it like
it’s the Coca-Cola recipe or something, even a
New York Times article mentioned the stalker idea. So how does Instagram
rank people in stories and in the app in general? Does it actually show me the
people who stalk me the most? We went to Instagram to find out. (medium-paced jazz music) That’s Julian Gutman, product lead for Instagram home, which includes Instagram stories and the feed. First things first, let’s
address the stalker myth. – So the answer is,
the people that show up on that list are not the
people that stalk you the most. It’s actually based on your activity and people that you’re closest to. – All right, you heard that. Instagram isn’t going to show you who’s stalking you the most. Instead, it’s the people
you’re interacting with. So if you go to your crush’s page or even your frenemy’s page all the time, it’s likely they’re going to show up at the top of your story viewers. – I think there are often
these kind of situations where there are a lot
of confounding factors. But you can kind of create
a narrative around it, maybe based on what you wanna think or sort of what’s interesting to you. – It’s totally possible that
I’m projecting a narrative onto my story viewers because I’m actually the one stalking them. Although I have to say I don’t
think I’m creeping that much, so what else am I doing in the app that makes Instagram think
I care about these people? – [Julian] Do you visit their profile? Do you like their feed posts? Do you comment on their feed posts? Do you view their stories? – But Julian wouldn’t get specific about how certain interactions
are weighted in the app. Like whether a like is less significant than a DM or a comment. Or what happens if a DM is
opened but not responded to? How does that affect the algorithm? Even what you do outside the
app can affect your feed. Like who you’re connected
to on Instagram’s parent company, Facebook. Even still, I sometimes have random people in my story viewers
list that I barely know. – Do you check the list multiple times? If you check the list multiple times it tries to show you a new set of people. So it’s trying to give you new information every time you check the list. – So if you’re like me,
and you check your story multiple times after you first post it, you’re probably going to see new people at the top of your
viewers because Instagram always wants you to have a new experience when you open the app. This whole strategy around showing you relevant, interesting
content led the company to change its feed from
chronological to algorithmic. When this happened in 2016, Instagram said people were missing 70%
of posts in their feed, so it wanted to optimize
the 30% they did see. Facebook’s feed works the same way. The algorithm’s everywhere. When that switch happened two years ago, it was super controversial,
but I actually like it. The feed works as it’s
supposed to most of the time, my best friend’s posts
populate at the top of my feed, although because Instagram always wants to show me new content,
it sometimes refreshes too quickly and I don’t
have a chance to scroll. Okay, so I’m starting to understand why I see certain people in
certain places on the app, even though Julian wouldn’t
get super granular. He’s guarding that algorithm. Ultimately, it comes down to self-control. Everything we do on the
app molds the algorithm. So maybe I shouldn’t look at my random Tinder date’s profile. I’d rather have my best
friends at the top of my feed. Resist the boy click. If I were to guess why this myth exists, it’s probably because deep down, we know that who we look
at and stalk on Instagram says a lot about our
priorities and interests. I don’t want to admit that
I look at my ex’s profile, but Instagram knows all our secrets. Our interactions don’t lie. I just hope the app never actually exposes my stalking habits. Hey, thanks for watching. If you haven’t subscribed to The Verge yet you should do that, and then you should go check out our sister site, Eater. They publish a series called
the Kitchen Gadget Test Show, which involves testing
gadgets in the kitchen. What could be better?

100 thoughts on “Is Instagram revealing my stalkers?

  1. Please dig into this. My friend is going to Jamaica and we talked about it while my phone was on the table between us. I never travel outside of Europe and I never even googled Jamaica or anything that has to do with it. But only about 2 days later, I got an email from a travel agency I booked a holiday with only once before and it showed we hotels from Jamaica only. Please find out if our phones are listining to us, it would be a interesting video

  2. Cool video. I really liked the stabilized tracking in the beginning. For the wide interview shots that show the soft boxes, is that some overcaptured 360 footage or just an ultra wide?

  3. You people sharing your Social Network accounts in Public for more followers, and now you complain… Make it private, and let only REAL friends see your stories,. But nooo I need followers, well now you have. Stockers, fans, and etc, all this is just a NUMBER.

  4. If you're so worried about stalkers, then don't freaking post your entire private life in social media. Jesus, is that so difficult!?

  5. I miss more posts this way because if I just open Instagram to send a message without looking at my feed and then close the app and go back in later it thinks I’ve seen all the previous stuff from when I last opened the app, so now I have to find were i last left off on the feed, very annoying, why not just keep it simple? Just show posts as they come out!

  6. I want the chronological feed back, I miss most of the posts because of the algorithm and it usually shows content what I’m not interested.

  7. I really wish Instagram would actually listen to it's users. It's become an Evil Empire however, shuttered from public input. It's good for them to finally put a name and face on one of it's people responsible for the stupid "algorithm". The whole rationale put forth at about 2:40 is bogus and a lousy reason to make such a stupid change. It would be Really Easy for them to make the algorithm a user selectable option, like how facebook allows you to. Julian and Instagram – I challenge you to DO The Right Thing!

  8. No, I have to use the app the way I want to. They are not the ones to decide what I get to see first because I know what I want to see.

  9. Wtf the same stalker discussion is like 4 years old but it was about the Facebook search and the answer is the same, no wonder, same company

  10. Instagram probably doesn’t even know the algorithm, instagram can take in more data than our minds can, and from looking at who we communicate with, knows us better than we know ourselves.

  11. I've been trying to figure that out as well, and trying to probe IG employees. But that can't be all true because there are people who always show up on my top 10 who I don't talk to, visit, or even Follow. I don't' talk to them on FB either.
    And you can always follow me on 😉

  12. Instagram won't tell you their algorithm because they don't know their algorithm.
    It's constantly evolving by itself via machine learning. They set parameters to focus on to adjust it, but they don't know the actual algorithm and they can't directly influence it.

  13. What about the screenshot myth??? A friend and myself tried the SCREENSHOT MYTH, but found nothing notifying me of anything

  14. one would be pretty damn narcissistic if he/she were to care so much about their stories viewers and regularly check who viewed their stories.

  15. I’m a little surprised you didn’t create a small number of IG accounts and test this. It seems like I’d be a relatively easy thing to do.

  16. I'm not keen that you can see who viewed your stories, should be anonymous unles the person watching the story interacts

  17. Is it bad that if I were her and used Instagram (and Tinder), I would look up my date with a second account?

  18. I've been wondering this too cause I keep seeing my ex as a friend suggestion even though I click the tiny "x" to remove them but they show right back up again lol

  19. I think this guy is lying. While I agree there's a lot of opportunity for optimism bias, where you hope your crush or ex likes you, the fact is Instagram has every reason to deny the stalker theory. If that info got confirmed, Instagram would tank. And the facts dont support his reasoning. My top 5 or 10 are not the people I interact with the most. In fact, many of the people I interact with regularly always appear near the bottom. Also, my list is not random, it's actually fairly stagnant. The same 10 appear near the top despite me not even following one. So the "it changes constantly" excuse is not true. There appears to be a pattern it follows, and it's not based off activity or randomness. And as I stated, Instagram tanks if they admit stalker info is divulged to users, everyone would stop using the platform. Privacy is the #1 asset a social media platform rests on and admitting you can see your stalkers is a complete deteriorating of privacy.

  20. “I don’t think I’m stalking them that much.” Take out the qualifiers and you have “I’m stalking them.” But seriously, red head with the Sisqo glasses DM me.

  21. He's lying. There are people I never look at that rank higher at my stories. And it turns out it is people that look at my stuff.

  22. This might have changed as a lot of people i talk to on a daily basis on ig are scattered all over the list, not always at the top

  23. Bullshit! Absolutely not. On FB it's even more apparent how it works. Do the test. Ask a friend or bf/gf to go to your page …you will see that person surface to the top of your list. FACT. Of course it is a mixture of preferences and pages you look at but do the test, a that person will sail to the top; in both letter of first name and surname, that means the have hit your. If it's just by one letter they appear, say their first name e.g Ann but not in surname e.g Grail in the g sectio then it is linked fron either mutual friends or instagram have put it there as a potential follow. And there you go. 😉

  24. Either this got changed, or the man is lying.

    There are people who go to the top of my list and I don't look em up.
    You stated in the video that Instagram hides their algorithm, so I find it hard to believe that they would kindly tell you the truth.

  25. Dude, I haven't ever visited this person's profile other than the time I sent them a follow request. They're a friend. But they don't post at all. I dont chat w them online cause I see them everyday. But they still pop up first EVERYWHERE. Stories, likes, comments. What's up with that?

  26. You could do a video on a myth which says that charging your devices after they are fully charged reduces the integrity of a battery.

  27. hi friends, anyone here know what does it mean if there is a word 'following' in grey colour underneath the person name I does not mean they r following me…I found it when i check the list of people i am following …anyone pls reply!

  28. I really want a way to know if i have any stalkers but i also don't because I've done so much stalking myself and that would be terrible if people found out 😨😨😨

  29. 0:37 I see Ashley doing that catwalk strut in her stylish outfit. 5 minutes later I'm at the top of her Instagram watched-story feed.

  30. It shows who watches your stories and from there you can see you who purposely isn’t liking your IG pics but watching your stories to be nosey

  31. This isn't true, some people keep coming up at the top of mine I've barely interacted with or even looked on their profile over people I've interacted with and looked on their profile regularly, so this isn't true.

  32. But there’s a bunch of random people who I don’t stalk at the top of my list tho? I’m so confused 🤣🤣✌🏻

  33. I was talking to my friend that I haven’t talked to in awhile and haven’t been on her profile too and after we were done talking I made a story and guess who was on the top of my viewer list 😐

  34. I hate the algorithm because they don't show me the best content just the content of whoever has the most friends that clicked like solely because they are their friend NOT because it was a creative, cool, beautiful or useful post.

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