Instagram Reels have introduced a new way for users to share short video clips with their followers, as part of a new content format that’s quickly gaining traction. While it’s entertaining for people to watch, it’s also raised many questions about privacy and data tracking, such as “Can someone see if you watch their Instagram Reels?”. In this article, we’ll look at the answer to that question and implications it has for users.
1. What Is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a new feature on Instagram that allows users to create and view entertaining 15-second videos. Reels are similar to the popular app TikTok, but are integrated into the Instagram platform. Some aspects distinguishing Reels from other videos are:
- Reels can be up to 15 seconds long, with a 3-second extension if desired
- Videos can be a single clip or multi-clip edit
- Reels can be Published to Your Feed, shared in Direct, or available on the Explore tab
Reels involve a full suite of shooting modes like hands-free or manual recording and audio from Instagram’s own library of audio or from the user’s personal collection. Like a video, Reels can be edited with a range of effects, speed and lighting adjustments, text, drawing and more. Unlike photos, videos can capture a true moment, providing a more realistic view.
In addition to watching popular Reels and those from people they’re following, users can also explore “Featured” Reels. When users have created a Reel, they can also share it with their Instagram followers, as well as other users who have shown interest in that content. Reels users can supply hashtags and descriptions to increase visibility. The new feature also has an algorithm that recommends similar users Reels content through the Explore Page.
2. Can People See If You Watched Their Instagram Reels?
The short answer is no, people can not see if you watched their Instagram Reels. Instagram themselves have not enabled any form of notification to alert people when a Reel is viewed.
It is not possible to directly access the viewer list for any given Reel. Even the account that created the Reel would not be able to see the list of who has watched it. The only way to do this is to view your activity status with the user and look for the Reel listed in their activity feed. However, this requires mutual following and therefore will not be effective for Reels viewed by people who do not follow the user.
While there is no way to track viewership exactly, Instagram does provide some statistics on the number of views, likes, and comments for each Reel. This provides some insight into the success of the video, but does not confirm the identities of the people who watched the video.
In conclusion, while there are no explicit notifications or viewer lists, Reel creators and their viewers can take a look at the Reel’s statistics to understand the level of engagement and success of the video.
3. What Privacy Options Are Available on Instagram Reels?
Once you upload a video to Instagram Reels, you’ll be able to adjust the settings for how it’s shared. Here are three privacy options available:
- Public: This setting allows anyone to view your Reel, even if they don’t follow you. If a person doesn’t have an Instagram account, they can still watch the video by going directly to your profile page.
- Friends Only: When you select this option, your Reel will only be visible to your followers. This setting is useful for creating videos that your followers can watch for entertainment or for exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses at what you do.
- Private: The private setting is the most secure option. Only the people you specifically allow to view the Reel will be able to do so. This setting inhibits anyone you don’t approve from viewing the content.
When you upload a Reel, you can adjust the sharing settings at any time. You have the ability to adjust the settings to be more or less restrictive. You can always change the settings so that fewer or more people can view the Reel.
Understanding your privacy settings is important for maintaining control over who sees your content. By familiarizing yourself with the options available on Instagram Reels, you can make sure that you share your Reels with the people that you want.
4. Should You Be Concerned About Watching Instagram Reels?
Before watching Instagram Reels, you should be aware of the potential cons you’re exposed to. Here are four potential concerns that should be considered before scrolling through Reels.
- Content: Not all Reels are created equal and many of them include content that can be inappropriate for certain ages. There is potential for users to post videos with content that is offensive, profane, or violent. It’s important to be aware of this and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Privacy: If you’re not careful, your privacy can be compromised when watching Reels. Many users are unaware of the fact that third-party companies may be collecting data about them as they watch a Reel. It’s important to pay attention to the terms of service and know how your data is being used.
- Time: Watching Reels can be very time consuming and can easily pull you away from other tasks. It’s important to remind yourself to keep your watch time to a minimum to avoid wasting too much time.
- Ads: Ironically, some of the Reels may contain ads which leads to further distractions. Ads can lead to further consumption of time and may also lead to unexpected purchases. Careful consideration should be given to which Reels are being watched.
Overall, there are many risks associated with watching Instagram Reels. It’s important to be aware of these risks and take the necessary steps to ensure you’re protected. By considering these potential concerns, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of Reels and minimizing the risks.
5. How Do You View Instagram Reels Safely?
In order to safely view Instagram reels, there are a few basic steps to keep in mind. Start by monitoring your children’s accounts carefully. Know who they are following and what content they are consuming. It is important for parents to have a good understanding of the app and its features, as well as being aware of what their children are viewing.
Additionally, make sure you are aware of the age limit for using Instagram reels. Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years of age to create and post reels, and it is up to parents to ensure their children meet this requirement. It is not just the age limit of the user, you should also be aware of the age of the accounts they are viewing posts from and interacting with.
Lastly, make sure to check through the privacy settings of your child’s Instagram account. This should include setting their account to private, as well as turning off the comments and post sharing options. This is important to ensure that their posts are not seen by anyone that is not within their personal and trusted network, both for their own safety and the safety of their content and views.
Ultimately, if you’re concerned about privacy when it comes to watching Instagram Reels, the best way to ensure a secure viewing experience is to make sure your profile is private. This way, only those who follow you can see your activity and you will know who is watching your content. Otherwise, anyone can view your posts, and while it’s not possible to know who has seen each Reel, it is possible to check your views.