I’ll admit it – I’ve Googled it, I’ve done the research, I’ve tried the apps. Who viewed my Instagram account?
It’s natural to wonder who is looking at your profile, stalking your page, or viewing your posts (especially if they chose not to hit the like button). For those of us with our lives documented on social media, it’s hard not to feel self-conscious about who is looking at our photos and videos online. If you’ve tried to figure out who viewed your Instagram, you are certainly not alone.
Can You See Who Views Your Instagram?
In short, no. If someone visits your Instagram profile without liking or commenting on anything, they leave no trace that they’ve been there. There are theories that the Instagram algorithm lists the order of Instagram likes and followers based on stalkers, but ultimately you can’t tell who viewed your Instagram.
Who Viewed My Instagram Profile Apps
Various apps have claimed to reveal who has viewed your Instagram or who your “stalkers” are on social media. Unfortunately, these apps are falsely advertising themselves. The Instagram API (application programming interface) does not allow other apps to access that information, and Instagram itself does not release the information to users. Any app that says they’ll reveal who views your profile is lying.
While this answer is somewhat disappointing, take it as a sign to chill out and unplug. Social media already leads to FOMO, self-esteem issues, and paranoia over who likes or doesn’t like your content and why. It’s probably a good thing that we can’t also obsess over every profile or post view. Besides, now you can stalk freely without worrying about anyone noticing.
Instagram Story Views
While you cannot see who views your profile or individual posts, you can see who views your Instagram stories. Stories were added to Instagram in 2016, and have since become wildly popular, surpassing the usage of the original story-sharing app, Snapchat. If someone views your story, which is only shared for 24 hours, you can tell by checking the list of viewers.
To check who viewed your story, click your profile picture in the top left corner of your feed or on your profile. At the bottom left corner of your screen, click “Seen By ###” to view the list of users who have watched your story.
Instagram Story Views Order
Now that you know who has viewed your story, you may be wondering what the order of that list means. Many users are curious about the order of follower and following lists, likes, and story views, as it is usually clear that the order is not chronological. The exact explanation for the order of these lists is not totally clear, but we know that it all goes back to the Instagram algorithm.
Instagram’s algorithm, and therefore the order of story views, is based on who you interact with the most online. Instagram assumes that those you interact with the most interest you the most, and they want to keep you interested and spending time on their app. The users who you engage with the most on Instagram will likely appear at the top of the list, which is why you often see your closest friends or followers as the first viewers on the list.
Who Stalks My Instagram?
So you can’t see definitively who visits your Instagram profile, but is there a way to figure out your stalkers? Sadly, also no – although there is more room for interpretation on this question.
The Instagram Algorithm shows you posts and orders your followers and likes based on three factors: your interests, your relationships, and recency. By interests we mean what you like and engage with.
Relationship refers also to who’s content you like and engage with, but also who likes and engages with you. This means that it could reveal who is stalking you. If someone is always the first like listed on your photos and you don’t regularly interact with them online, they may be an Instagram stalker.
Change Your Instagram Privacy Settings
If you’re really worried about who is viewing your Instagram, you can change your privacy settings so that only those you’ve approved can see your posts. If your Instagram is set to public, anyone can view your posts and stories unless you’ve blocked someone specifically.
Going private on Instagram can negatively impact engagement, as your posts won’t be visible to anyone who doesn’t follow you already. With your Instagram set to private you still won’t know which of your followers is stalking you, but at least you’ll know that strangers can’t look at your photos.
Follow these simple steps to change your Instagram privacy settings:
- Go to your profile and tap the three horizontal lines at the top right corner.
- Click “Settings” at the bottom of the side menu.
- Click “Privacy and Security” > “Account Privacy”.
- Click the toggle to switch your account from public to private, or from private to public.
Instagram Insights for Business Profiles
If you have a business account on Instagram, you still cannot see exactly who views your posts or profile, unfortunately. You can, however, see how many users have viewed your post through Instagram Insights.
Insights reveals how many people have viewed your posts and breaks down demographics like age, gender, and location of followers. Check out how many impressions were made on each post, as well as how many people liked, commented, shared, or saved it. While you can’t see which specific followers viewed your profile or each post, you can see the numbers to better gauge your reach on Instagram and use that information to improve engagement and gain Instagram followers.