If you want to share photos on the web, Instagram is the perfect social media platform. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is purpose-built for sharing photos with friends, family, and followers. But like most social media platforms, Instagram also has privacy settings. Some people choose to set their accounts to private, which makes them difficult to find information on. Among other things, you can’t see a private account’s followers list.
But what if you’re curious about who’s following a private Instagram account? In that case, you’ll have to either become one of their followers or find some other method. So, how is it done? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process. We’ll also provide more information on Instagram privacy settings in general, and what they mean for you.
Can I See Followers of a Private Instagram Account?
When a user sets their Instagram account to private, it hides their information from non-followers. This includes their follower list, so you won’t be able to see that information. However, there are a few tricks you can use.
Keep in mind that a private account and a deleted account are not the same. If you can’t find someone’s account, see if you have any old DMs from them. If they’re listed as “Instagram User,” the account has been temporarily or permanently deleted, not made private.
Look For Mutual Followers
While you can’t see a private account’s followers list, you can see any mutual followers. Go to the private account, and look at the top of the screen. You won’t see much information, but you’ll see any mutual followers.
On the screen, you’ll see the first two or three names. If there are more common followers, their names will be followed by “and X others.” X will be the exact number of additional followers you have in common. Click there, and you’ll see a complete list of mutual followers.
Use a Friend’s Account
Another alternative is to use a friend’s account. If you have a friend who follows the private account, just ask them. They’ll probably let you use their phone to look at the account’s followers list. That way, you don’t have to use any more complicated methods.
Check Their Facebook Friends
Another option is to see if the private account also has a Facebook profile. Facebook and Instagram are closely tied, so there’s a good chance there’s some overlap in their followers. Go to their Facebook page, and look at their friends list or followers list.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a guaranteed way to find their Instagram followers. But if someone follows them on Instagram, there’s a good chance they also follow them on Facebook.
Try Googling Them
Alternatively, you can Google the person on the account. This won’t give you access to their followers list. However, it might turn up photos where you can see some of their friends.
You may also find other social media sites where they’re active. For example, they might have a LinkedIn account. In that case, you could do the same thing you did when you looked up their Facebook account. Scroll through their connections, and you’ll get a sense of who may be following them on Instagram.
How to Follow a Private Instagram Account
To follow a private Instagram account, just send a request. If you’re actually friends with the person, they’ll most likely accept your request. Remember to be patient. They might not check their requests very often. If you’re not sure whether you’ve already done this, read our guide to see who you requested to follow.
If it’s been a while, send the person a message. Let them know why you want to follow their account, and see how they respond. You never know how they’ll react.
Create a Finstagram
If someone isn’t willing to let you follow them, there’s a sneaky way to do it: create a Finstagram. “Finstagram” is a combination of the words “fake” and “Instagram,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s an Instagram that belongs to you, but represents a fictional person. We should note that this goes against Instagram’s terms of service, so it’s not the best idea. That said, enough people do it that it’s worth mentioning, and it’s at least somewhat effective.
To create a Finstagram, you’ll first need a new email account. Create a free one on Gmail or any other service. Next, create your account, and try to make it as complete as possible. Your Finstagram should have a personality, as if it’s a real person. Bonus points if you pose as a young, attractive female. It also helps if you make the account private to provoke curiosity. Send a follow request with this new account and see what happens.
Once you’ve followed a private account, you’ll still need to look through their followers list. This can be challenging if it’s a long list and you’re looking for a specific person. If you’re having trouble, check out our guide to how Instagram following and followers lists are ordered.
Is There an App for Viewing Private Instagram Account Followers?
No. There are a number of sites and app that say they’ll give you access to private Instagram profiles. But this is a lie. There’s no way to directly view a private account’s followers list unless you yourself are a follower. If someone is telling you otherwise, they’re just trying to scam you.
In some cases, these scams are relatively harmless. The service will ask you to watch videos or click on ads during a fake “verification” process. This all generates revenue for the scammer, but you’ll never actually see any private information.
In other cases, the scams are more malicious. An app could contain malware, or ask you to share your Instagram login information. The service might even ask for your credit card data. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. None of these services work, and you shouldn’t waste your time with them.
Public vs. Private Instagram Accounts
So, what’s the difference between a public and a private Instagram account? With a public account, your information is available to anyone, whether or not they’re on Instagram. As the term implies, everything you post is public.
With a private account, on the other hand, your information is hidden. Your photos, videos, and followers and following list are invisible to the public. Only followers you have approved will have access to this information.
Once you’ve made your account private, you may see a surge in follower requests. These will be people who have been viewing your posts without following you. You can choose to accept these requests or reject them. All of your requests will appear in your Activity list. Keep in mind that your existing followers will still be able to see your posts. If you’re trying to hide your posts from one of your followers, you’ll need to block them. This hides your account from them, and they won’t be able to interact with you on Instagram in any way.
Another thing to keep in mind is that private Instagram posts are only private on Instagram. If you share those posts on another social network, the same privacy settings won’t apply. For example, if you re-share a video on Facebook, it will be subject to your Facebook privacy settings. Even if the video is private on Instagram, it will be public on Facebook if those are your settings.
How to Make Your Instagram Account Private
When you create an Instagram account, it will automatically be public. The only exception is if you’re under 16 years old. In that case, your account will be private by default, but you’ll have the option to select “public” instead. However, Instagram users of any age can make their account private by following a few simple steps:
- In the Instagram app – Tap on your profile picture, then choose “more options” in the top right and select the settings icon. Choose “Privacy,” and tap the area next to where it says “Private Account.” This will convert your account to a private one.
- In your phone’s browser – Tap on your profile picture, and hit the settings icon in the top right. Select “Privacy and Security,” and look in the section that says “Account Privacy.” There will be a checkbox next to the words “Private Account.” Click it, and your account will be private.
- In your computer’s browser – Go to Instagram and click on your profile picture in the top right. Select the settings icon then “Privacy and Security.” As before, click the check box next to “Private Account” and you’ll be all set.
As you can see, it’s tough to see the followers of a private account on Instagram these days. However, you can still find mutual followers. You can also check their Facebook friends, or Google them to look for other accounts. You can even use a friend’s account to view their followers, if the friend is one of those followers. Hopefully, at least one of these methods will work for you.
Meet Derek, “TechGuru,” a 34-year-old technology enthusiast with a deep passion for tech innovations. With extensive experience, he specializes in gaming hardware and software, and has expertise in gadgets, custom PCs, and audio.
Besides writing about tech and reviewing new products, Derek enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography. Committed to keeping up with the latest industry trends, he aims to guide readers in making informed tech decisions.