Ever wondered if someone can tell that you’ve viewed their Instagram Story even if you don’t follow them? Well, the answer might surprise you! Here’s a closer look at whether someone can tell you’ve had a glimpse at their Story, no matter if they’re part of your followers or not.
1. Is Viewing Someone’s Instagram Story Private?
Viewing someone’s Instagram Story is a great way to stay in touch and keep up with what someone is posting. With the quickly scrolling stories and the ability to post as much as you can, it can be easy to think that viewing someone’s story is as private as viewing their regular profile.
This, however, is not the case. Anyone that is friends with the person or follows them will be able to find out who has viewed their story. This means that Instagram users are able to keep track of who is paying attention to their content and even initiate conversations with viewers if they want.
One smaller, but still important, thing to note is that a screenshot sent to someone else still counts as a view. A notification will be sent to the user regardless, unless they have notifications turned off or active hours set.
A few things to keep in mind when it comes to viewing Instagram stories:
- Viewing someone’s story is not as private as viewing their profile
- The person who posted the story will be able to see who viewed it
- Sending a screenshot to someone will count as a view
2. Can You See Who is Viewing Your Instagram Story?
When it comes to tracking down who has seen your Instagram story, the answer is no – unfortunately you cannot directly see who has viewed it. This may come as a bit of a bummer, however there are alternative means to figure out who’s actively engaging with your stories:
- Check Your Story Insights – You can access the Story Insights for each of your stories on a post-by-post basis in the Story tray. This view is available for the first 24 hours after you post a story, and will show you the number of impressions, who replied, and a list of accounts who have viewed your story.
- Check For Replies – If someone watching your Story is inclined to respond, they may opt to send you a direct message or reply directly to your Story with a GIF or photo of their own. Keep an eye on the number of reply messages you receive, as this could signal an individual or group was actively engaged with your content.
Although there isn’t a way to tell who specifically viewed your story, these tools give you a more insightful view on the level of engagement your story is receiving. Such as things like: Who messaged you, who interacted with your questions, who replied to your polls or quizzes, etc. Use the information to decide which content works best and experiment accordingly.
3. What if You Don’t Follow the Person Whose Story You Viewed?
The answer to this question may be both discouraging and relieving at the same time! If you viewed someone else’s story but decided not to follow them, chances are you won’t have any engagement with their content. This might make the user feel disappointed, and it is understandable. But it is also possible to receive positive vibes from the experience as well!
After all, you have made the conscious decision not to follow them and it is your right to do so. You don’t owe anything to anyone for checking out their content regardless of whether you will follow them or not. As such, you might feel a sense of emancipation and accomplishment knowing that you are still in control of the content you interact with.
That said, there is still some etiquette to be aware of when you view someone else’s story, even if you don’t end up following them. Show some courtesy at the very least, be it with some acknowledgement on their post or liking a few of their content. This is to ensure that they still feel appreciated, and this respect is mutual regardless of whether you will follow them in the end.
4. Is There a Way to Keep Your Story Viewing Anonymous?
Stories are great vehicles for sharing our lives with others, but sometimes you want to stay anonymous. Whether it’s for a funny video or to share thoughts about personal topics, here are some ideas for keeping your story viewing private.
Use An Incognito Window
If you’re on a desktop and want to view stories while remaining anonymous, use an incognito window. With this you won’t need to logout or worry about using another browser. You can just launch a new window and go incognito.
Download The App
You can also download the app and not sign in. This means that you won’t be visible and the stories you watch won’t be recorded. This will keep you anonymous while still being able to view the stories.
Use A Different IP Address
If you’re accessing the stories from a phone, you might want to consider using a different IP address. This can give you a layer of anonymity while still letting you enjoy the stories. There are plenty of free VPNs that provide a reliable and private IP address.
- Use An Incognito Window
- Download The App
- Use A Different IP Address
5. How to Avoid Being Identified as a Story Viewer if You Don’t Follow the Person
If your interaction with someone may be exposed to the public eye, you may want to consider being a bit more discreet in your viewing habits.
If you’re wanting to watch someone’s Instagram stories without being identified as a viewer, here are some top tips:
- Turn off notifications when viewing stories. Turn off the click sound and notifications to reduce your chances of being detected viewing the stories.
- Use airplane mode. Going into airplane mode when viewing stories that you’d rather not be traced back to you will hide your presence.
- Access stories from another account. If you have access to a second account, you can use this to check out someone’s stories.
What if you want to actually follow the account? If your privacy is a concern, then you may want to consider using a secondary or alternate account that is specifically for the following. This way, your main account is not directly linked to the one that you follow.
At the end of the day, whether someone can see that you’ve viewed their Instagram story without being a follower comes down to a mix of comfort levels and personal boundaries. We hope this article has given some valuable insight into the situation and helped you make an informed decision about your social media interactions.