If you’re sitting there wondering “who stalks my Instagram?” read on, because there’s an easy way to tell.
Instagram is still one of the most popular social networks, and for good reason — the mostly visual content is fun, easy to sift through and requires little understanding of any particular language or even time. It’s basically the perfect storm for engagement, and if you believe the average user has 208 followers, that’s enough to make you curious just who exactly is looking at your uploads, if anyone (certainly someone, right?). So can you see who views your Instagram pics or not? The answer is mostly YES, but you need to login and be at least a somewhat regular user. This happens to be one of the best ways to grow your account’s popularity and base of real, active Instagram followers as well. I’ll show you my account as an example so you can see how to track of who is stalking your profile.
Login to your account via the app on your phone.
Sorry, this isn’t nearly as easy from your desktop computer, so whip your phone out for this one. Login to the main page of your profile. Here’s mine.
From here, you’ll want to tap that little “home” button on the bottom left of your screen. It looks like a house, because, you know… home. Let’s move on to the part you may find daunting, but you have no choice. Dive right in, mmmkay?
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You’re on the homepage of the Instagram app now, so let’s upload a Story.
Have you given Instagram Stories a try yet? If not, you’re missing out on one of Instagram’s best features, partially because it allows you to have a fun, more casual and frequent approach to the social media game, but perhaps most importantly because it quickly answers that age old “Can you see who views your Instagram pics?” question you’ve been googling nonstop. Yes, you can, but you need to get down with the Stories function to really see what’s what. Make sure you have a good selfie light if you are working with an older model phone.
Here’s how to upload a story:
Once you’re on the homepage you’ll notice a little camera-looking icon on the top left of your screen. That’s where you’ll want to click to upload a story. It’s pretty user-friendly (honestly if you need a guide to clicking buttons, I don’t know that I can help you or that it even matters who is viewing your Instagram page to begin with). If you look just below the horizontal arrow I painted on that screen grab, you’ll see the stories of other people I follow popping up in my feed. Pretty cool. In fact, the more you upload, the more frequently I’ll see you in that feed (or your followers will, anyway). So click the icon and upload something already, will ya?
Within a matter of hours you’ll notice views coming in (maybe much sooner depending on how many followers you have).
If you have your profile set to public, you may get random viewers from just about anywhere on Earth. If you’re rocking a private profile and are only followed by people you know, expect less viewers. Either way, at some point you’ll want to log back in through the Instagram app on your phone and visit your profile’s personal page. That’s where you’re going to use your finger to tap the image of your profile photo.
Your story will appear, and on the bottom you’ll notice a viewer tally.
Here’s one I just uploaded a few minutes ago to give you an idea of who is viewing my Instagram stories. Can you see who views your Instagram in a static, main-page way? Not exactly (yet, and don’t believe any weird paid apps that say they can offer that ability), but using the stories functions clearly proves you can see who is viewing your stories — conceivably you’ll have the same crowd for both, and an employee at Instagram I happen to know personally mentioned to me that it’s typical to expect about 10 to 15 percent of your overall follower base to view your stories. If you have way less than that, your followers either don’t really like you that much or you have fake followers. But let’s get to that in a minute.
You can immediately see my best friend, Aly Walansky, and another close gal pal who goes by the handle “PatchkePrincess” have viewed my Instagram story. Instagram will arrange the people you interact most frequently with at the top of that list. People you don’t know or don’t interact with much will likely be all the way at the bottom.
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Now use your finger to tap on that name list.
Here’s what you’ll see — a complete list of who has viewed your story, typically in order of who you interact with the most. Your Instagram stories only exist for 24 hours though, so be sure to check this count either frequently, or closer to the end of the 24 hour mark. There’s a hard deadline though, and you can’t check your viewer count after 24 hours — the upload will simply be gone then. Into the internet abyss without any possible way to get it back. Be diligent with keeping tabs on who is stalking you, obviously.
Let’s talk social media etiquette for a moment though, shall we?
It’s entirely creepy to lurk around someone else’s Instagram without leaving comments or likes. That’s literally the internet version of peering through someone’s window and giving a menacing stare. Don’t do that. Be friendly. Be the neighbor who is like “HIIII I’M JUST WAVING HELLO BECAUSE IM KIND AND NORMAL AND FUN!” Leave likes and comments on static posts, and when it comes to other people’s story uploads, leave occasional direct commentary too (swipe up on the story to do so). If they upload the most delish looking sandwich of all time, ask them where they got it or how they made it. If they upload a video of them dancing at their sister’s wedding, wish them some nice things and virtual high fives. Being an Internet stalker comes with responsibilities, much like everything else in life.
That’s about it, and you’ve now mastered the basics of stalking your stalkers. If you’re wondering, I have a lot of other thoughts about the stories function, but do yourself a favor and upload at least three stories a day… because why not. Just make sure they reflect your personality and real life. There’s nothing more obnoxious than a normal person only uploading images of private jets and shoes they can’t afford. Go away with that.
Editorial update: there’s a similar way to detect who is viewing your Facebook profile, too, although it’s not entirely foolproof. You can read about that here. There’s still no 100% reliable method, especially since Instagram revoked their external API access, but we’ll keep updating you to see if that changes!
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