When Sending Posts to Friends on Instagram, Why Does it Show People I’ve Never DM at Top of List?

Instagram, one of the biggest social media giants, has come a long way since its debut in 2010. Initially, it was all about sharing pictures, but it has become something much more. So, what’s so great about Instagram? Why does everyone seem to love it despite the rumors of it being addictive and often problematic?

when sending posts to friends on instagram, why does it show people i've never dm at top of list

Let’s start with reels; Instagram introduced Reels as a response to the popularity of short video content. Users, generally influencers/creators, create fun 15 to 60-second videos, often set to music. Similar to YouTube’s Shorts feature, reels are short, often funny, and addictive.

Instagram has also become a hub for shopping. Features like Shop and Checkout on Instagram allow users to explore and buy products from their favorite brands without leaving the app. This is also quite convenient for small business owners who wish to advertise their products more and more.

Instagram now offers features like Take a Break and Restrict to address mental health concerns. These tools have been added to prevent mindless scrolling and cyberbullying, respectively.

Besides these new additions, Instagram’s primary features, including adding posts and interacting with others’ posts and Instagram Stories, are all-time favorites.

While Instagram has many advantages, it also faces some challenges. For one, Instagram’s feed doesn’t always show posts in chronological order, which can be frustrating.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss why people you’ve never DMed appear at the top of the send-to list when you’re going to share a post.

When Sending Posts to Friends on Instagram, Why Does it Show People I’ve Never DM at Top of List?

So, let’s get straight to the question: why is it that when you’re trying to share an Instagram post, people you’ve never DMed appear above your most engaged-with users? Well, the answer to this is simple, although inconvenient.

But, before diving into it, we must understand how Instagram creates its send-to list when sending posts. When you DM or share a post privately with friends/followers, Instagram offers a list of accounts for you to choose from. This list is thoughtfully curated based on various factors.

Let’s first discuss which factors influence this list the most.

Frequency of interactions

Instagram’s algorithm analyzes how often you engage with different accounts. It takes into account likes, comments, and DMs. Accounts with higher interactions are deemed more relevant to you; this results in them appearing at the top of your send-to list.

But at the same time, Instagram aims to strike a balance between showing you accounts you interact with often and suggesting new connections to enhance your experience.

Recent interactions

Recent interactions are a higher priority in determining the send-to list’s order. Accounts you’ve engaged with in the past few days or weeks are given more importance, as Instagram assumes these connections are more current.

If you’ve recently started interacting with a new account, it may appear prominently in your send-to list to reflect your evolving interests.

Profile views

Profile views are considered signs of interest or curiosity. If you’ve viewed someone’s profile, Instagram may interpret this as a potential connection, even if you haven’t messaged them directly. This is more likely if they reciprocate your interest by visiting your profile.

Mutual following

Accounts you follow and who follow you back are typically given a higher priority in your send-to list. This is because a mutual follow suggests an established connection and relevance. The algorithm aims to balance the visibility of mutual connections with other accounts to provide a well-rounded experience.

User Engagement

Instagram may prioritize accounts with high engagement rates, such as influencers, celebrities, or popular content creators. These accounts generate more user engagement and are given prominence in your send-to list.

This is because the platform encourages users to discover new content and accounts. By featuring highly engaging accounts, the platform aims to expose users to a broader range of content and connections.

Algorithmic changes

Instagram’s algorithms are dynamic and subject to periodic updates. What influences the send-to list’s order today may change tomorrow as Instagram fine-tunes its algorithms to enhance the user experience. Instagram strives to keep its features and suggestions relevant to current user interests.

Here’s how to fix your Instagram send-to list

So, now that you know what is most likely influencing your send-to list, let us move on to how you can control it. This is important because although it might not seem like much, it’s always more convenient to determine who gets to appear on your send-to list.

 Manual selection

Sometimes, you know exactly who you want to share your posts with. In such cases, take control by manually selecting recipients. To do this, tap the “Send to” field and type in the usernames of the accounts you want to share with. This method ensures precision in your sharing and bypasses the algorithm’s suggestions entirely.

While this might be a slightly lengthier process, it’s what works best when trying to avoid the algorithm.

Interact actively

As you already know, Instagram’s algorithm considers your recent interactions when suggesting recipients. To influence the list’s order, engage actively with the accounts you want to prioritize. Like, comment, and message these accounts to signal your interest and connection.

Most of all, DM them as much as possible and get them to reply. This would indicate that you like interacting with that person, which is exactly what the algorithm is looking for.

Diversify engagement

Broaden your interactions across different types of content on Instagram. Engaging with various posts, profiles, and hashtags can help you discover new accounts and ensure a more diverse send-to list.

Similarly, if you don’t want a diversified list and only want to keep a select few at the top of the list, do the exact opposite. Interact with only the people you wish to keep on your list and reduce your engagement to newer content as much as possible.

Regularly review your send-to list

Over time, your interests and connections may change. It’s best to periodically review your send-to list and remove accounts that are no longer relevant or engaging. This helps ensure that your sharing experience remains streamlined and personalized.

In the end

Instagram is a large social media platform, and it didn’t get to where it is today by not prioritizing its users’ likes and preferences. Like almost everything else on the platform, the send-to lists on Instagram are also curated after much research and analysis.

For example, the ones who appear at the top of your send-to list are there for a reason. It means that the algorithm has taken some extra steps to put them there for various reasons.

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