Instagram can be the social media home of inspiration, and you can get a bunch of tools to help you grow. However, sometimes you just want to check out an Instagram account to see what people have been up to. But, you could be wondering: can people see if you look at their Instagram profile? Well, the short answer is no, but let’s get into the longer version.
But First, Why Even Use Instagram
Many social media apps can fulfill certain vibes and functions. For example, Twitter is mostly for writers or people that prefer to express themselves with words. Tumblr or other such blog sites are for those that have even more itchy typing fingers and need more characters to work with. YouTube is for those that want to share long videos, be it short films, vlogs, reviews, skits, gameplay, etc.
Facebook is mostly used for keeping in touch with old friends and family. And Instagram on the other end is primary for sharing photos. Instagram is a great place for those that prefer visuals then written words or video. While Instagram does include videos this is a fairly new thing, and it was not the start of it. Instagram can be used to share what people eat, drink, do on vacation as well as work-related images.
The latter can include items in their physical or virtual stores. Artists, digital artists, comic book makers, web comic artists, or photographers; any other art-related people can show off their work, work in progress, on the app. By using the right hashtags, and good timing one can grow their Instagram audience allowing for an increase in the possibility of profit or at least more work.
The appeal of Instagram is also the social media digital marketing side of it. Instagram can be used for fun or business or for both depending on how many accounts you want to run. It is a good idea to keep work and play apart so as not to mix up the messaging of the profiles.
The Long Answer
There is a lot you can do on and with Instagram. But, getting caught snooping on profiles is not one of them. Much like Facebook if you like a post or comment then you can be caught. If you do not, then you are good to snoop on. This is regardless if you are on an Android device, or an Apple iPhone one. And, it also does not matter if you are checking out the contents on a business account, a creative profile, or a private profile after the Instagram user allows you to follow them.
However, a business profile can show you the traffic that checked out your Instagram posts. But, it will not give you the usernames or any such information, only the metrics of the number of people that saw your selfie or whatever Instagram post you uploaded. This means that you can use Instagram to check out your favorite influencer’s Instagram photos without them knowing. You can even borrow their idea to help you get on to the trending/the explore page.
There could be countless reasons that you may want to be “hidden” while you snoop around on some other user’s Instagram profile. You could have found them through a hashtag, and you want to check out if they are worth a follow. Hence, if they are worth your time. It could be a dead account or one that does not post as often.
Other reasons could be the aforementioned looking for inspiration, but you are not in the mood to let people know that you are.
It could also be that you are checking in on a former friend or lover out of morbid curiosity. You cannot help yourself, but you do not want them to know that you are peaking in. Snooping is alright to do as long as it does not lead to treats, or making the other side feel unsafe or uncomfortable. This would then fall under stalking.
What About Instagram Videos?
Instagram videos come in two types. The one is the short video that can last to under a minute that you can upload through the Instagram mobile app. The other is the much longer version, about an hour, that you can only upload through a web browser. This is known as IGTV.
However, regardless of where you upload or which one you use, they both work the same ways as your standard feed posts where you can view the video but only the view count is affected. Therefore, they would not know if you viewed the video unless you commented on it or liked it.
What About Screenshots?
Screenshots are when you take a picture of your mobile screen or PC/Mac screen using the device that you are on. This can be done through a third-party app. But, a lot of devices have a screenshot capture built-in. It is when you take an image of the whole screen. However, even if you decide to take a screenshot, the users will not know. But, there is a way that people can find out if you have been on their profile. And we are not talking about the accidental like or adding a comment.
Snapchat and Instagram stories have a lot in common such as being great with the algorithm, and only lasting for 24 hours. However, Instagram stories make a list of people who have viewed them. This list will only last for as long as the story unless the user decides to save it. They could do this to see who their best fans are, or when would be the best time to post a story for their followers. Or a bunch of other reasons. Either way, Instagram stories make viewers' lists.
And this is done regardless if you react to the story in any way. So, if you do not want to be known for being on their profile, do not watch their stories. This applies to any type of account: private, business, or creative, and on whatever device you use. Stories can be the best way for users to see who was recently on their profile page. Or accidentally pressed on their profile picture that is on the top left corner of the screen. This is how the stories are activated.
Using Third-Party Apps
A brief history of Instagram is that it started in 2010, and two years later it was bought by Facebook. Since then there has been some overlap in terms of the privacy settings of the two social media platform giants. A third-party app is a software that is created outside of, in this case, Facebook or Instagram, and it often has nothing to do with the manufacturer or the operating system of the app.
It is something that another company usually created in an attempt to add to the existing social media app. Third-party apps often involve ways to schedule posts, when to upload, or even what hashtags to use. However, like Facebook, there is no third-party app that will tell users, or yourself, who is snooping on their profiles. Anything that says they have “a new feature” or are “the next level” for catching snoopers is a lie. Or an attempt at very good marketing talk.
The base is that there is no third-party app that can tell you or anyone who viewed different Instagram profiles. Usually, these types of apps are gathering information from the people who fell for the marketing talk of the third-party apps. Furthermore, Instagram does not seem likely to allow people to know who viewed their profiles. It does not seem to be something that the photo-sharing social media app is interested in doing. Unless it is regarding Instagram stories.
If You Do Not Want to be Snooped on
There is a way that you can make it harder for people to view your profile if you want your internet privacy. And that is by making your account private. This is very easy to do, and it takes no time at all. The first thing you must do is to, obviously, log into your Instagram account, and go to your profile. You do this by pressing your profile picture that is in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Go to your top right corner, and press on the three horizontal lines. This will make the menu float up. From here press settings which are usually at the top of the list. And then you look for privacy. Once the privacy option is open, you can slide the toggle next to the private account. This will make your Instagram account private. This means that the only way people can see your profile and your posts is if you accept them. The choice is yours.
Turn Off Activity Status
Another thing that you may want to do is to turn off your activity status. In the same menu of your privacy options, you can scroll down until you find activity status. You can switch this off. Doing this will make it so that people will not see your activities on the app. And, you will not be able to see other people’s activities on the app too.
If You Have a Stalker
Snooping and stalking are two different things. Snooping is when you are looking at someone’s profile for fun. Stalking is a lot more harmful with threats, and often creating uncomfortable situations. If you are being stalked you can report the user, as well as block them. You can also remove them from following you. To do the latter you can go to your privacy menu, and scroll down to accounts you follow, usually at the bottom of the list.
Then you go to the followers' tab and look for the user stalker’s name. Then you can press the remove button next to their name. Also, you can go to their profile, and you can block them. You simply do this by pressing the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the screen and press the block option. This will make it so that they cannot view what you post nor what you are up to. This can include Instagram stories. Also, in that menu where you blocked the user, you can also click on the Report button to report them.
Is It Worth Making Your Account Private?
Making your Instagram account private can be the way to go if you are using your account for personal reasons. Such as keeping up with family and friends, posting photos of what is happening in your life, etc.
However, it would not be advisable to go for the option of making your account private if you are using it for business purposes. This can include trying to sell products or services or trying to promote your artwork to get clients and commissions.
Making your account private if you are using it for work-related purposes can take away from it since new users and potential clients will not be able to find you nor to see what you do. You would not be able to ever get on to the explore page where users find new people to follow, and in this case to hire. It can be similar thinking when it comes to running fan accounts. You would want your fav to see your admiration for them, but they cannot if you are private.
And, you would not be able to easily find other like-minded accounts to make a fun community. A private account can limit your interactions on Instagram. And this is the downside when it comes to business. But, you are just using Instagram for fun then why not go private if someone is bothering you? You can always go back to private after a while when you feel the coast is clear. But, we would suggest that you report and block them so that something can be done about them.
In The End
Instagram does not show who views your profile or posts. Plus, it does not tell other users if you have viewed their profile or posts. Stories are different… story since there is a viewer list that the profile owner can check out.
Therefore, much like Facebook, if you do not comment, or like a post then no one will know that you are snooping.
Likewise, if you do not watch a story then you can remain hidden. However, that is not an excuse to be creepy and stalky. We know you are not, we just have to say such things. Anyway, we hope this article has answered your questions in great detail and if you want to check out more articles on or relating to Instagram then why not pop by How to Find Someone's Likes and Comments on Instagram?
And remember to stay safe while online, as well as while in the real world. Plus, be careful who you follow and interact with. If you do have a stalker, report them and block them. You can also research what other steps you need to take even if it falls in the legal department.