3 Profile Picture Dots on Instagram Stories – What Do They Mean?

If you have shared a story on Instagram you have likely noticed there are three profile picture circles or dots on top of the “Seen by [number]”. Many people are wondering why certain Instagram users show up in these dots. Are they the people that watch your stories the most often? Are they the people that have watched your story most recently? Are they the people Instagram stalking you?

This is what it looks like:

As you can see, three profile pictures show up, but why? These are definitely not the latest to watch the story. They are also not “best friends” of the user that sent us this picture. So, what could they be?

Our hypothesis is that it is completely random at this point. In time, there will likely be an algorithm that shows profile pictures of those that you engage with the most. If you consistently private message or like photos of an Instagram user and they watch your story, it may very well be the case that they show up in the three profile picture dots.

It could also be that these are people Instagram wants you to look at because they are very active on Instagram. They may upload a picture three times a week and constantly post stories to their friends and publicly.

Remember, Facebook owns Instagram and they know more about you than you think. It might be the case that these are the people Instagram thinks you will want to private message but haven’t done so in awhile.

What do you think is the reason these three profile pictures show up in the dots on Instagram? Is there a reason or is it completely random?


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