Can People See When You Look At Their Instagram?
Stalking is not something generally bad — a lot of people research other users' activity simply to keep up with them without direct interactions. Different accounts have different privacy settings, and even Instagram itself doesn't let people get too much insight into their followers' activity.
However, stalking is real, and moreover, it can be tracked.
Can someone see you stalking them?
Other social media platforms can reveal a stalker's identity in a few clicks. With Instagram, you can remain anonymous while researching someone's account. You can easily visit the same profile multiple times a day and remain anonymous.
And yet, Instagram stores and processes your activity to improve its recommendations for you and find new content. This works in both directions: someone you've visited a lot recently might find you in the "recommended to follow" tab, and that's when things might begin to look suspicious.
Another thing that concerns people who like to scroll accounts unnoticed is the possibility to accidentally double-tap random posts. And everyone knows that when you double-tap the post, you like it and the notification will be immediately sent to the account's owner even if you immediately put your like back. This way, the user will know your username, profile picture, and if you have any personal data on display, they might even notice this information, completely deanonymizing you.
For videos, there are also views that can mark you as a stalker. For example, if you watch a video longer than a certain amount of time, you'll be counted as a viewer and your view will be displayed to the account's owner.
To avoid this situation, use some of these tips:
- while scrolling, make sure you see an image instead of a video — if it's a picture, you can look at it however long you've got. But if it's a video and you missed your three-second chance to scroll past, you're now counted as a viewer and can be seen to the person who uploaded the video;
- if you clicked on the video, you still have two seconds to scroll down;
- scroll fast or disable auto view feature. This will also save your internet traffic because only the videos you chose to play will be downloaded.
But with carousel posts, it works slightly differently. If someone puts both images and videos in the carousel, your views won't be counted even if you decide to rewatch the video again and again.
With Stories, it's the most tricky situation. Every story view is counted and there's no way you can hide it. Our best advice is to watch stories only from people who don't care who has seen them.
To increase your anonymity while watching stories, we recommend creating another Instagram account and watching Stories with it — this way it will be less suspicious.
Also, a lot of accounts have built-in insights on which story was the most engaging and as well as who saw it. This feature is called "seen by" and is presented in the form of an eye in the lower-left corner of every story. Usually, these metrics update immediately after a story gains a view.
When the user clicks on that icon, they're able to see:
- who visited this story;
- who interacted with stickers;
- how many navigation clicks there were;
- how many people left the section from this story, etc.
This works even if you don't follow a particular profile and even if your profile is private. This is why we recommend using another Instagram account with fake personal information — this way you won't get extra attention for watching stories from someone who you don't want to find out you're stalking.
Keep in mind that this fake account should look real enough in order to drive away any suspicions. Let it have at least a few posts in the feed, a few followers, and follows. Also, it will be better if this account will have a proper profile picture and a short bio — this will make it look like a random person stopped by someone's account, casually watched the story, and left this account.
Are there any applications or services to see who stalks your Instagram profile?
Of course, no one likes to find out they were stalked. But if you want to protect your profile and see who has the curiosity to check out your posts and stories, you can use previously explained Stories metrics, or trust it to some third-party analytics tool.
As we already mentioned before, all kinds of services and websites that show data about activity, take it from open sources and put them in more accessible formats.
And yes, there are apps and websites that let you track who visits your page way too often. Some of them are free, some might want to charge you after a trial. Try any of them and see if you have any unexpected guests on your Instagram account.
How can you prevent stalking on Instagram?
If you don't like it when people poke their noses too much around your Insta, we can give you these advices:
- Make your account private. Go to settings and switch to the private mode — this way you'll be able to control who can follow you and therefore see your stories, followers' information, posts, and activity. It's a great way to completely restrict unwanted attention to your Insta profile.
- Post your Stories only for selected people. The "best friends" option is really cool — you can personally choose who will be able to see your stories when you post them under the "best friends" category. The best part is: when you remove someone from the list of people who are able to see these stories, that person won't receive any notification.
- Turn off the activity status. This feature allows you to go into the invisible mode while using Instagram Direct. You can find this option in the setting under the Privacy tab and switch it off. After you do so, no one will know if you're online or when you were online for the last time.
- Remove unwanted followers manually. If you know who your stalker is, you can easily find them in your followers' list and remove them or even block them. However, if you don't know exactly who gives you that unwanted attention, you can simply decrease your followers' number by removing everyone who looks suspicious.
Instagram remains one of the safest social media when it comes to privacy. While on Tumblr, Twitter, and Snapchat it's really easy to see who did what, you don't have this ability on Instagram. This feature of this app is really great if you don't like extra attention or want to avoid stalkers.