In What Order Does WordPress Display Post Likes?

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This is a mystery I’ve been wondering about for a while now, and I’ve never been able to come up with an answer. A few years back, WordPress introduced a feature in the browser version of the Reader where if you hover the mouse over the “like” button, you’ll see who has already liked a post. I don’t like that feature, but that’s beside the point. The mystery is the order in which WP displays who has liked a post, because it’s not chronological (as opposed to the order in which you see your notifications under the little bell thing, which is chronological).

No matter whose post it is, if Paula, Suzette, and I have all liked a particular post, Paula’s name will always show up higher than my name in the little pop-up list of likers, and my name will always show up higher than Suzette’s. If we throw Maja of Lampelina into the mix, her name will always be higher than Paula’s, Suzette’s, and mine. Again, this order is consistent, no matter whose post it is that’s been liked. I’m assuming that the order I see is the same order that other people see when looking at the Reader, but I don’t actually know that for sure; it’s certainly possible that other people see an entirely different order.

If there is a consistent order, and it’s not chronological or alphabetical, what on earth is it? Any ideas?

Update: Mystery solved! The info about who likes a post comes from the WordPress REST API, which returns a list of who’s liked a post ordered by user ID number (yup, you’ve got one of those). That’s why Paula’s always above me and I’m always above Suzette. I have no idea if that ID number is based on something (like maybe when you first created a account), but the order of likers is based on that number.

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30 thoughts on “In What Order Does WordPress Display Post Likes?”

  1. What an interesting question, Ashley! Could it have to do with relevance? Some sort of ranking based on how interconnected you are to the other users. Something like the person who has liked more posts gets ranked higher (in its most simplistic form)?

  2. I always see myself first when I like a post. It’s somewhat similar to Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve no idea what algorithm.

  3. If I like a post, my name shows up somewhere in the list but it’s usually not first in the list. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

    Has WP always been like this or is this a recent thing? WP is a mystery for sure.

          1. I have yet to find another alternative and honestly, WP is the only option. I considered Blogger and did some research on it but the layout is so….ugly. I can’t bring myself to switch to another platform. I’ve been using WP for several years, long before I started my own blog. WP needs to step it up though 😏

  4. This is so cool to know. My first guess was that the ranking was based on number of followers, and I suddenly felt like the girl standing at the wall at the grade eight dance. User number makes me happy 😂

  5. I always wondered how it could be the case that the same people always visit right before me! Now we know the truth. Gotta find out my ID, see if the number is astrologically safe.

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