Instagram Stories are an ever-popular tool that has given users of the popular photo sharing platform even more ways to connect with their friends and family. Whether you have an audience of thousands or are a more modest user, the ability to post photos and videos that appear for a limited time and can be seen by followers is a great way to keep in touch. But does the ability to post stories mean that anyone and everyone can view what you post? This article looks at the answer to that question – can someone see your Instagram story if they don’t follow you?
1. What Is an Instagram Story?
An Instagram Story is a feature of the Instagram app that is similar to Snapchat. The Story allows you to post photos and videos that remain visible for 24 hours. It is located at the top of your news feed and you can easily recognize it by its colorful circles.
To use the Instagram Story feature, you just have to tap the colored circle in the top center of your home page. You can post multiple images or videos at once, as many as you like. You can even add text to your posts, though there is the limitation that they cannot be longer than 2,200 characters. Additionally, users may add custom backgrounds and other graphics to their posts.
With your Instagram Story, you can also use interactive functions such as polls, quizzes, and questionnaires. You can also add links to items available for purchase. By using hashtags and geo-tags, you can make your story visible to a broader audience. Finally, you can highlight stories so that they stay on your profile for an extended period of time, giving visitors the opportunity to explore your content.
To share your Instagram Story and ensure that your followers can view it, you first have to make sure the story is visible and public. To do this, tap the settings icon and make sure that ‘Share to Close Friends List’ is disabled.
Once you have done that, you can share your Story in a number of ways, including:
- Add it to a highlights reel to make sure it sticks around longer than 24 hours
- Use the ‘Share’ option in the bottom-left corner
- Directly share it as a message with your followers
The last option is particularly important when you are sharing a Story with a particular person in mind. It’s also useful if you need to check that the person has seen it. To do this, just tap the ‘+’ in the bottom-right corner and then select ‘Send This To’. From there you can select whichever followers you want to share it with.
3. Who Can See Your Instagram Story?
By default, only your followers can view your Instagram Stories. Whenever you post a story, a list of followers who have viewed it will appear in the right corner of the story.
You can also decide who can view your Instagram Story:
- Followers Only: Select this option to keep your story between you and just your followers.
- Close Friends List: If you are planning to share your content to a small group of people, you can create a Close Friends list. All members of your close friends list will be able to see your Instagram story even after 24 hours.
- Direct: Sending a direct message to a person is similar to sending a text or an email – only you and the person you direct message know about the exchange. You can share your Instagram Story directly to the people in your direct message thread.
Whenever you post a story, you will be given a choice to share it with your Followers, Close Friends list, or Direct. Knowing who can view your post will ensure that you share your content with the right group.
4. Can Someone See Your Instagram Story If They Don’t Follow You?
Instagram stories are ephemeral – they only last for a day after which they’ll disappear. At first, only your followers could view your stories. But now, you have the option to post stories that are visible to everyone, even if they don’t follow you.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open up the story you want to post and click on the three dots in the bottom left corner.
- Choose Add to Your Close Friends if this feature is enabled.
- It should automatically enable you to post the story to Your Story and Close Friends.
- If you want to post it to Your Story and allow everyone to watch it, select Your Story with the icon to the right.
- Click Share to post your story.
Posting stories to everyone, allows you to reach all of Instagram’s users. This feature, as well as adding polls, emojis, and gifs, shows Instagram’s commitment to engage its 1 billion+ users.
5. How to Check If Someone Is Viewing Your Instagram Story
It’s easy to check if someone is viewing your Instagram story as long as you have engaged with each other before. Here are 5 simple steps to help you know when someone is viewing your story.
- Check your Instagram Story: Go to your profile and browse through the stories posted by you. A ring-like circle will appear on the bottom left side of the screenshot when a user is viewing your story.
- Check the list of people: To check the list of people viewing your story, click on the ring. A list of people will appear. If you recognize someone’s profile, then you know they have seen your story.
- Check Insights: Go to your story and click the three dots on the lower right corner. Click on “insights” and it will show you the exact number of views for each story. This is an easy way to tell who exactly has seen your stories.
- Check the Comments: If someone has commented on your story, they have obviously seen it. So it is another easy way to find out.
- Follow the Hashtags: If you have used a hashtag in the story, you can easily find out how many users have seen it by clicking on the hashtag. This will also show you the list of people who have seen it.
These are all the ways you can use to check if someone is viewing your Instagram story. Remember, if a user is following your profile, then you will be able to know if someone has seen your story.
To sum up, it is possible for someone to watch your Instagram story even if they do not follow you. However, if you want to ensure that your Instagram stories remain visible only to those whom you want to view them, you can always choose the Close Friends feature or adjust the account settings.