Knowing who has been looking at your social media profiles is one of those things that just about everyone wishes they could do at some point or another.
At least, if they’ve been on social media for a while. Whether you’re checking to see if the ex you’re pretending not to think about has been lurking on your timeline, or, from more of a marketing perspective, you’re just curious who’s been looking at your posts.
This applies to just about all social media platforms, but perhaps more so to Instagram.
Perhaps it’s the nature of the average post (there doesn’t tend to be quite as many bikini pics on Twitter, for example) or maybe it’s just that people on Instagram are more open about wanting to see who’s looking at their feed.
So, can you see who looks at your Instagram? The answer is… it depends. Sorry. Keep reading and we’ll elaborate for you.
The problem is “your Instagram” is too vague a premise to accurately answer the question. For the most part, there is no way to see who has been looking at your Instagram, but there are some instances where it is possible. Let’s dive into the differences.
Your Instagram Profile
Probably the most common way in which people want to know if someone has been lurking in their profile itself, by which we mean can you see who has been looking at your main profile page on Instagram. Seeing who has been reading your bio, looking through your pics, watching your reels, etc.
In this case, we can give a resounding “no”. It is not possible (yet) for Instagram users to see who has been looking at their profile. Users could spend all day deep diving into your photo history and you have no way of knowing.
Your Instagram Posts
What about specific posts? Again, the answer is no. Instagram does not currently provide a way for users to look at a list of people who have viewed a particular post.
Your Instagram Stories
Here things get a little more interesting. You can see who has been looking at your Instagram stories… for a limited time. Simply tap the burger menu (the three horizontal lines) in the top right, tap on “Archive”, and scroll to the appropriate story. When you’re on the story, swipe up and you can see who has viewed that story.
As you will no doubt be aware if you use Instagram, stories are not permanent. They sit on your profile for 24 hours and then they are gone. Well, almost. As the person who uploaded the story, you can continue to view it for another 24 hours, along with the information about everyone who has viewed it. After that total of 48 hours from the time of posting, the information is gone.
Your Instagram Direct Messages
DMs are a little more complicated—though not by much. You can see if a person you are in a conversation with has read your direct messages because Instagram will explicitly tell you with a little message in the chat window saying something like “just seen”.
This doesn’t apply if you send a message to someone you haven’t spoken to in DM before, however. Or, rather, it can apply, but the person you are messaging has the option to ignore your message, and you won’t get any notification if they do. Only when they accept your request to chat will Instagram let you know if they have read your messages.
Other Ways to Know
That’s it for the official ways you can tell if someone has been looking at your posts, but there are other ways you can assume or infer that someone has been looking.
If someone comments on a particular post, it’s safe to say they have been looking at that post. The same goes for liking it. But, on the subject of liking…
A like on a recent post may tell you that a particular person has viewed that post, but a like on an old post can tell you so much more.
Instagram isn’t big on pushing older content, so when you a like on an old post, it’s usually a good indicator that that person has been doing something of a deep dive on your Instagram profile. This tends to be a little unnerving, as it shows someone is paying a lot of attention to you.
To paraphrase Ed Sheeran; try not to double-tap from way back.
Should You Care?
The next question worth pondering is whether or not you should care if someone is looking at your Instagram profile or content, and the answer is no.
We understand it can cause a bit of a start to suddenly start getting dozens of likes on posts from years ago but, ultimately, you posted that content online for people to look at. You can take posts down or lock your profile, so you are in control of what people can see on your Instagram. As with any social media, you have to accept that a wide range of people will see your content, even people you might not want looking at it.
Your choices in this regard are either to not put the content up in the first place, take it down if you already put it up, or lock your profile so you can control who can and can’t see it. Or, of course, just live with it.
While other services like TikTok make it possible to know who has been looking at your profile, Instagram has remained steadfastly in the anonymous (to each other) browsing camp.
Ultimately, it is their platform and their prerogative over how they run it. That being said, if your interests are purely marketing-related, you can always start advertising on Instagram. You won’t be able to see specific names of people who viewed your content, but you will be able to see analytics on the type of people who are looking.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
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