Privacy settings on Instagram – answering some FAQs

06 Aug 2018 Becca Cawthorne

Over 800 million people use Instagram every month. From stories and memes, to photos and videos people use Instagram in many different way. In our research we found that 27% of young people aged 8-17 use Instagram on a daily basis, and need on average 246 followers to feel happy.

In this blog we are looking to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram and the privacy settings that are available on the app.

What are the privacy settings on Instagram?

On Instagram your profile is set to public by default, this means that anyone can see the photos or videos that you post. These photos can also appear in searches and in the ‘Explore’ tab.

You can change the visibility of your profile in your settings by making your account private. Setting your account to private means that only followers who you approve can see your profile and posts. This also means your posts won’t appear in in the Photos tab of Search and Explore, or on a hashtag or location page.

See our blog about Instagram privacy to find out more about the default settings on Instagram.

What happens to my follower requests after setting my account from private to public?

We have recently been asked a few questions about what happens to your follower requests once you change your account from private to public.

If you have pending follower requests on your private account and then you turn it public any pending follower requests you have are deleted. These people will not be notified of this, but will be given the option to follow you if they visit your profile again.

It is worth noting that once you turn your account to public, people will be able to follow you without having to request to do so.                                                                 

I set my account to private, what can I do about the people who are already following me?

When you change your account from public to private the people who are already following you on your public account will still be following you on your private account.  We recommend that young people regularly review their followers list, making sure they have only accepted followers who they know offline.

They will not be notified that you have removed them as a follower, but if they visit your profile they will no longer be able to see any content on your profile. Do be aware that following each other is not linked so if you choose to unfollow someone they will still remain a follower of you unless you also remove this option.

If you want to remove someone as a follower you need to:

–          Go onto your Instagram profile

–          View your followers list

–          Find the person that you want to remove as a follower

–          Click on three dots next to their name

–          Select ‘remove follower’

What information is still public on a private account?

By turning your account to private only your followers can see the images, videos or stories that you post, however there is still some information that is visible publically on your account. At all times on Instagram, anyone will be able to see:

–          Your profile photo (although they cannot click to see a larger version than what displays on your profile)

–          Your username

–          Bio

This means that any personal information in your bio on Instagram can be seen by anyone, whether they follow you or not. We would recommend that you do not put personal information (including your snapchat username, age, school or location) into a space that can be seen by the public. It is important that on any account you have that you think about your digital footprint and the type of information you would be happy for people to see.

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