Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps in the world. It offers a great way to share your life with your friends, family, and followers through pictures and videos. As great as Instagram is, many users are concerned about their privacy when using the app.
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 the 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. Still, it’s understandable that you might want to know who’s browsing your profile and looking through your posts.
Unfortunately, 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 someone viewed your profile. Your only option is Instagram Stories which, like its Snapchat progenitor, tells you who viewed it.
Instagram Stories: The Only Way to Know Who’s Watching
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, then it disappears.
You select someone’s profile in the app to see their stories and they do the same to see yours. And, just like Snapchat, Instagram Stories tell you who has viewed your story.
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 not confirmed, some believe that the order in which names appear apparently indicates how often they have viewed it.
The name at the top is the person that has viewed it most. This is, as mentioned, only a theory as Instagram won’t confirm whether this is true or not, but there is plenty 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 in another way, you’re in the dark.
Or are you?
If you’re extra concerned about your privacy, an app called Followers Plus for Instagram may be able to tell you a little more about 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. It seems that this app can help you get a lot more detail on who visits your Instagram profile or 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 seriously bothering you in any way, they aren’t doing anything legally wrong. This is the price of social media. You’re out there for all to see and people can do whatever they want with the information you post online.
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 can accept or deny at your discretion. This setting makes you a lot less visible on Instagram by allowing you to decide who gets to see your profile and posts.
You can also turn off your activity status:
- Open Settings and Privacy and Security on Instagram.
- Toggle Show Activity Status to off.
This will stop anyone seeing what you’re up to on Instagram but will also stop you from 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 no 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.
Instagram can be a great app for sharing photos and videos with your friends, family, and followers, but it’s not the best app for those who are concerned about their online privacy.
As it stands, there’s no real way to know if anyone is stalking you on Instagram. So, as you should when using any social media platform, always be mindful of what you post when using Instagram.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, make sure to check out our piece on How to Delete All of Your Instagram Direct Messages.