Think someone is stalking you on Instagram? Think someone might have a secret crush on you and is following you online? Want to know if someone is taking a little too much interest in what you do on social media? This tutorial will show you how to tell if someone is either watching but not engaging or lurking on your Instagram.
Social media is exactly that, social. If you’re online, you’re in the public eye and people taking an interest in you is a cost of doing business online. That said, there’s a difference between actively engaging with you, being curious and checking you out and stalking. By stalking, we don’t mean a scene from You, more someone who likes seeing what you’re up to without saying hi.
Your options are limited for finding out if someone is stalking you on Instagram. There isn’t a lot of feedback from the network as to what’s going on, who viewed what or when. Your only option is Instagram Stories which, like its Snapchat progenitor, tells you who viewed it.
Instagram Stories, your only view on who is stalking you
Instagram Stories are a copy of Snapchat Stories and work in almost exactly the same way. You create a post, set it as a Story, it is public for 24 hours and it disappears. You select someone’s profile in the app to see their stories and they do the same to see yours.
You can swipe up from within one of your own Instagram Stories to see who has viewed it. The screen will show the username of each person who viewed your story. While unconfirmed, the order in which names appear apparently indicates how often they have viewed it. The name at the top if the person that has viewed it most. This is theory only as Instagram won’t confirm whether this is true or not but there is lots of anecdotal evidence online that this is the case.
Other ways to test if someone is stalking you on Instagram
Aside from showing you who has viewed your Instagram Story, there is no other way within the app to tell what’s going on. Snapchat offers a lot more information on who is doing what but Instagram does not.
So if nobody leaves a comment or engages with you, you’re in the dark. Or are you?
An app called Followers Plus for Instagram may be able to tell you a little more of what’s going on. It’s a social media management app that collects lots of metrics around your Instagram account, including who likes you the most. I haven’t used the app but there is a lot of feedback online that you can get a lot more detail on who visits your Instagram profile, who looks at your posts and doesn’t engage.
Handling stalking on Instagram
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot you can do if you think someone is stalking you on Instagram. As long as they aren’t making threats or making a nuisance of themselves, they aren’t doing anything wrong. This is the price of social media. You’re out there for all to see and do with what they will, well your profile anyway.
If your suspicion is getting the better of you, there are some privacy settings you can change on Instagram that could stop the person following you around on the network.
- Open Instagram and select the three line menu icon.
- Select Settings and Privacy and Security.
- Select Account Privacy and toggle on Private Account.
A Private Account is only visible to people who follow you. People who want to follow you will send a request which you manually approve or not as required. This setting makes you a lot less visible on Instagram.
You can also turn off your activity status:
- Open Settings and Privacy and Security in Instagram.
- Toggle Show Activity Status to off.
This will stop anyone seeing what you’re up to on Instagram but will also stop you seeing other’s activity status. It’s a two-way street.
If you have an idea of who it is that is stalking you, remove them as a follower.
- Select your Profile within Instagram.
- Select Followers at the top.
- Select the three dot menu icon next to the follower you want to remove.
- Select Remove.
If you have set your account to private, this person will not longer be able to see anything you do on your account. They may still be able to see your comments or likes on other people’s posts but they will not see anything you post on your own profile.
A private Instagram account does lower the engagement factor of social media but does also offer a little protection. You could try turning your account private for a month or two and then make it public again. Chances are, whoever it was who was stalking you would get bored by then and move on.