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Can You See Who Views Your Instagram Story, Videos, & Profile?

Instagram is a very social place, it’s much more than where marketers show videos and pictures. It’s where friends share adventures, and would-be lovers get curious about those they admire. This leads people to wonder which users are looking at their profiles. Can who views your Instagram Story and other content be found out?

See who views your Instagram Story the most

In the summer of 2016, Instagram made their own version of Snapchat by launching Instagram Stories. The feature took everyone by surprise and became an instant hit in the Instagram community. Today, Instagram stories have amassed over 300 million daily users.

Unlike sharing photos and videos on a profile, Instagram Stories reveals who exactly has watched a story. One way to check the story viewers is to open the story and swipe up on the screen. Here is a theory from Reddit on how Instagram structures the Story viewers list that you see:

  • Reverse chronological order: Until a story reaches 50 viewers, Instagram ranks the viewers in a reverse chronological order, with the most recent story view being placed on the bottom.
  • Interaction-based order: After 50 story views, the order of the story list is based on the level of activity between the users. This means that the users that visit the profile of the user, like, and comment the most will be at the top of the of the story viewer list.

This is why some people always appear on top of the story viewers, no matter what chronological order they saw the story.

Inside the Instagram algorithm

Instagram accounts for the activity among users when ranking Instagram Story viewers. The elements that Instagram takes into account are directly involved in the interactive nature among users on the platform:

  • Public activity: Public activity includes tagging, likes, comments and other profile-related activity on Instagram.
  • Messaging: The more frequent two people converse in messages, the higher the ranking on Instagram stories between those users.
  • Story interactions: Commenting on stories, voting in polls, and tagging other users in a story all result in a higher story viewer ranking.
  • Profile activities: Activities such as profile views, comments, tags, and likes are included.

Profile views are thought to be given the biggest value in this equation. What this means is that those who regularly appear on the top of the Story viewers list are likely the ones that engage the most with the Instagram activity of the user, making engagement a key metric.

See who views your Instagram videos the most

Instagram videos were first introduced in 2013. The original videos were capped at 15 seconds, but later Instagram lengthened the videos to 60 seconds. Unlike Instagram Stories, which show the exact number and names of the people that see a story, Instagram videos only show the number of the people that have seen the video and the people that liked it.

The only way to know for certain whether someone has watched a video is to check the likes. Here is what Instagram counts as a view on the platform:

  • What counts as a view: A view is counted if a viewer clicks on the video to enable sound (the video auto-plays if it’s without sound) or watches more than 3 seconds of the video.
  • Only app views: Instagram doesn’t record views from embedded posts or desktop. It only counts views in the Instagram app.
  • One view each: Each individual Instagram user can amount to a maximum of one view. Instagram doesn’t recognize video loops as repetitive views.

A video’s view count is visible to anyone that can see the post. Keep in mind that view count is only available for videos uploaded after November 19, 2015. However, this still doesn’t answer the question who views your Instagram videos the most. So, is it possible to know who is watching your Instagram videos?

How to determine who is watching your Instagram videos

Instagram doesn’t display the names of the people that watch an Instagram video by default, only the number of people. There are third-party apps which claim to show a list of usernames who have seen the video. InsTrack was one such app, butecent developments have changed this:

see who views your instagram api changes

Facebook has been taking measures to protect user privacy, and this meant many Instagram API endpoints had to be shut down. That is why many apps that provided analytical Instagram services have had to remove many features.

The screenshot above is a user review on the InsTrack app on iTunes. The developer’s reply perfectly sums up the current situation on Instagram that is applicable to every app of this type.

See who views your Instagram profile the most

Instagram values user protection and strictly prohibits any use of private user information. With that being said, Instagram doesn’t allow users to see who is viewing their profile. Apps promising to reveal such information are lying;

“Any app that claims to let you see who is looking at your Instagram account is lying to you. Some apps may be able to check who unfollowed you on Instagram since you last logged in, but it’s impossible for an app to track your followers. The Instagram API does not expose or share that kind of information, making it impossible for an app developer to provide that service.”

This was from a Daily Dot article on the ‘can you see who viewed your Instagram profile’ question. Essentially, what they’re saying is that the Instagram API, which controls what information apps can and cannot access, is not empowered to share information about who is looking at an Instagram account.

The reality is that there is no certain way of knowing who is viewing your Instagram profile beyond knowing who viewed your Stories.

So what can you do?

There are other metrics more important than individual profile viewers. There are many useful analytics tools that can help everyone become a pro-Instagrammer, such as:

These apps help users better coordinate their marketing efforts, social media strategy, and content scheduling. A successful Instagram marketing strategy is made by setting measurable objectives and following important metrics, and these tools help create a strong marketing strategy.

Create a successful Instagram marketing strategy

You can see who views your Instagram your Instagram Story content, but that is it. Stop sweating this data and instead look at other data which will help you build a successful Instagram strategy:

  • Engaging with those who view your Stories to keep them around
  • Determining optimal posting frequency
  • Establishing a consistent voice
  • Putting effort into captions
  • Finding the right hashtags
  • Developing cross-promotion techniques
  • Following Instagram influencers
  • Watching if any influencers view their stories and targeting them
  • Analyzing any and all relevant data

Successful Instagrammers delve into their Instagram analytics, make the best out of every piece of information, and use information such as story views as an advantage. What they don’t do is obsess over who views every aspect of their Instagram account!

Date: April 25, 2018 / Author: Rich Drees

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