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Does Instagram Show Who Viewed Your Video?

Posted by Robert Hayes on April 18, 2019

If you’re uploading a lot of video to Instagram, then you probably want to know who is watching your videos! There are a couple of different reasons you might want this information. First, you might just want to know who is interacting with your posts for personal reasons. That lets you know which of your friends and acquaintances are actually paying attention to what you post, and who’s following you but never looking at anything. The second reason is that you might be running or promoting a business with your Instagram presence. If that’s the case, then of course you want to collect as much information as humanly possible on who is checking out your videos.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to find out who is viewing your videos, how many people have seen it, and teach you some of the inner workings of Instagram’s video viewership metrics.

Instagram Doesn’t Show You Who Viewed Your Video Posts

First, the bad news: Instagram doesn’t show you who viewed a video post. Darn it, you cry, hurling your smartphone to the ground in a fit of pique. There go my plans for world domination! Relax. Although you can’t see who viewed your video post, there is a way to find out, and we’ll get to that. First let’s talk about how the Instagram video posting process works.

Posting a video to Instagram is simple. You record an event, or you upload an existing recording from your gallery. You trim, filter and edit the video in Instagram, and you can also add a caption. Then, you share the video as a post. Your posts are permanent. If your account is set to private, then they’re only visible to your followers. If you have a public account, anyone can view them.

You won’t find out WHO viewed your video post, but you will see how MANY viewed it. (Note that this is only for videos. For image posts, you get no information at all.)e posts.

Hey, 1 view is better than 0 views…

The view number doesn’t go up if one person watches the video several times in a row. It’s also very important to note that the view counter doesn’t apply if the post contains multiple videos. Knowing the number of views your video post has received is valuable information. It can give you an idea of people’s interests. While this is less informative than comments and likes, it can help you plan out a more successful Instagram strategy.

But what if you want to share a video and know exactly who has viewed it? Here’s the secret: you can do that if you share your video as a story instead of a post.

Instagram Lets You Know Who Viewed Your Story Video

Stories are becoming one of Instagram’s top features. As with a post, you can record or upload a video and share it as a story. Unlike posts, your stories disappear within a day after you make them. So what happens if someone watches your story? Instagram tells you exactly who viewed your story video. To get to this information, follow these steps:

Select the Story

Find the story whose stats you are interested in. On the bottom of your screen, you’ll see the number of people who have viewed your story. After your story disappears, so will this information, so don’t plan on going back and getting a week’s worth of viewership information at a time. You’ll have to keep up with this data pretty much every day if you’re serious about collecting it.

Select “Seen by”

Tap on the “Seen by” text or the profile photo above it. This will take you to a list of people who have viewed your story so far. In addition to the name of the person who has viewed your video, this screen shows you the view counts on your active stories.

This information can be very useful too. If you’re using Instagram to gain visibility for your business, stories can help you keep in touch with your followers. Knowing who viewed what will help you figure out how to make that happen.

What about videos sent in Direct Messaging?

You can also send videos via DMs. Will you know whether your recipient has viewed the video you sent to them?

When someone watches your video in a conversation, Instagram marks the video with an eye-shaped icon. You can also see the name of the person who has viewed it. This is useful because group conversations are popular on Instagram.

What if you send a disappearing DM?

Disappearing DMs are similar to stories. Your recipient can only view a disappearing DM for a limited number of times before it turns inactive. These messages are always sent in video form, even if your message itself is actually an image or a text.

Exactly like in the case of permanent DMs, Instagram shows you who has viewed your disappearing video.

Why Are Video Views Important?

When Instagram first introduced video views in 2016, their blog stated that “Views are the most widely expected form of feedback on video.” This is an accurate assessment and it reflects the mindset of many Instagram users. Having a high video view count is one of the best indicators that you’ve become Instagram-famous.

There’s another upside to having a high view count on your stories. When you tap on “Seen by” on your story, you can see the full list of people who have viewed your video. So in what order are the names listed? If your view count is low, the people who’ve seen your video are listed chronologically. However, when the view count grows, the order will change. The people who interact more with your profile will rank higher.

This can be a good way to do a quick analysis of your followers. However, the most important function of video view counts is to tell you which videos people like the best.

Getting More Information

There are ways to collect deeper information about your performance on Instagram. Here are a few free and paid alternatives to do a deeper dive into your performance.

Instagram Insights

If you want to start collecting serious data from your Instagram account, you need to make it into a business account. Luckily, this is both simple and free. A business account gives you a wider range of tools to deploy, including Instagram Insights. You can learn how to convert to a business profile here. Instagram Insights gives you per-post metrics such as view count (how many times your video has been viewed), reach (how many unique accounts have viewed your video), and follows (how many people started following you after seeing a particular video).

Iconosquare

Iconosquare is a paid analytics program that does start out with a free 14-day trial. After the trial period, a Pro account will let you do analytics on three different Instagram accounts for $29 a month. Higher levels of service of course cost more. For your money, you get quite a bit: advanced analytics including engagement insights, reach and impressions, video views, follower age, gender and language data, stories-based analytics, Mentions and Tags analytics, detailed post analytics and a lot more.

Union Metrics Instagram Checkup

Union Metrics offers a wide range of paid analytics services, but they have a free tool that’s super useful for an up-and-coming Instagram pro like yourself. Their Instagram Checkup is a free account checkup that looks at the last 30 days of activity on your account to give you information like the best times to post photos and videos to get a response from your audience, the kinds of posts that would boost your level of engagement, which posts are resonating the most with your followers, and what hashtags will bring more attention to your account.

A Final Word

Here’s a quick recap from the viewer side of things. You can watch another person’s video post without your name getting recorded anywhere. All you will do is add to their video view count. When you’re watching a story instead of a video, your name will get recorded. There are third-party apps that promise to let you watch Instagram stories anonymously. You can also try certain tricks, like turning off WiFi before you watch the story. But if staying anonymous is important to you, it is safest to stick to posts instead of stories.

Have any ideas or tips for getting more insight into who is watching Instagram videos? Please, share them with our community in the comments section below this post!

We have a lot of information about using Instagram to best advantage.

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Want more information about metrics? See our full-featured metrics article!

We’ll show you how to find out who’s looking at your Instagram Highlights.

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Just fed up with the whole Instagram scene? We’ll show you how to delete your whole Instagram account.

One thought on “Does Instagram Show Who Viewed Your Video?”

Michele Finnerty says:
Can you find out who viewed your photos along with a video on your feed? I know you can find out who viewed your “Stories”, but what about if you posts photos and a video can you get a name who’s seen it? Thank you!
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