You’ll be familiar by now with how valuable Instagram can be, especially when it comes to sharing content like photos and videos with a large audience. While Instagram encourages you to share your content with the public, it also allows users to have their account on private if they wish.
So, what are you supposed to do if there’s an Instagram profile you really want to look at, but it’s private? You may be surprised to find out that accessing someone’s private Instagram isn’t as hard as it seems, and there are a number of quick, easy ways to do so.
While it may take a bit of homework, all you need to do is learn these simple, easy steps and you’ll be able to begin seeing private accounts as if you’ve always been able to do it.
Let’s take a look at how to view private Instagram profiles. Just remember, though, that there are pros and cons to using private or public Instagram accounts.
Private Vs. Public Instagram Profiles
Private or public? That is the question, and it depends on what you’re wanting to use your Instagram for, and what your overall goals are with it.
If you are attempting to keep your social life separate from your family or boss, then it’s a good idea to have all of your social media accounts switched to private. However, if you’re not worried about who sees your content, then there’s no need for you to be private about your Instagram.
You should make your Instagram public if:
- You are a business or a brand that’s looking for more people to engage with your content and convert into sales
- You’re an influencer or a public figure who is looking to use Instagram to gain more exposure
- You aren’t concerned about sharing your private life with the rest of the world.
You should make your Instagram private if:
- You’re someone who likes to keep a low profile, and you don’t like strangers seeing your locations or content
- You’re not someone who is a public figure, and you’re not in the spotlight
- You’re not worried about gaining more followers
What is Best for Both Features
Public Instagram Account: this is best if you’re looking to gain more exposure online, get more followers and bring more awareness to your brand. This can be on a non-commercial or commercial level.
Private Instagram Account: this is best for both non-commercial and personal use if you prefer keeping your content and locations just to yourself and the people who already follow you, like your family and friends.
Making Your Instagram Profile Private
If you want to set your Instagram account to private, it’s easy. Just follow these steps:
1. Go to the Instagram app.
2. Click on the profile icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
3. Click on the three-lined icon at the top right hand corner of the screen.
4. Click on the settings icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
5. Find the ‘private account’ option and toggle this on.
Going to your Instagram app and making your own account private is a lot easier than trying to see other accounts that are private.
How to View Private Instagram Accounts
Alright, let’s find out how to see those private Instagram profiles.
Imagine that you’ve seen an account that you like the look of and you’re trying to get to know them, but then you realize that they’ve set it to private so that you can’t see any of their content. What do you do?
Send them a Follow Request
One of the most above board and effective ways to have access to a private Instagram account is to just ask the owner of the account directly by requesting to follow them. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to do this:
Be Nice: send them a follow request and then patiently wait for them to approve it. If you’re a mutual friend or someone that they know, then they shouldn’t take too long to let you follow them. Once you’re following them, you can then see their content, including videos, photos and even Instagram stories.
Be Patient: after you send them a follow request, it’s important to wait patiently. Give the owner of the account enough time to see your request and approve it. Because it completely depends on how much the owner actually looks at their page, you have no idea how long it could take, which is why you need to be patient.
Message Them: some people will choose not to approve someone if they don’t know that person. This is why it’s good to direct message them instead of asking to follow them. You can tell them how you feel about their Instagram and let them know why you want to see the rest of their content. Try to be as nice and as authentic as you can.
Remind Them: if you’ve met them in real life or seen them on other social media platforms, tell them about this in your message. This will increase your chances of being approved to follow them.
Engage with them: if you’re able to connect with them through messenger, then ask them if they would like to check out your profile as well. For this reason, you may want to keep your profile switched to public. If your content is interesting enough then they may feel encouraged to approve your follow request.
Look Up Their Usernames
You may not come up with anything from this, but it’s worth trying. Let’s take a look at how to do this:
- Log in to your Instagram and track down the people you are wanting to see. You’ll still be able to look at their usernames even when their accounts are set to private.
- Now, use Google to search their username.
- There’s a good chance that the person you want to see may have left a bit of a digital trail before they switched their Instagram over to private. If they have information or photos on other social media websites, then you may be able to see these from Googling their username.
Again, this may not be the best way to go about things, but if you want to find some decent information about the person you want to follow, then this is a much more above board way of doing it than the next solution we’ve got.
Create a Fake Account
If you have sent them a follow request and even messaged them and heard nothing, don’t despair. There is still a chance that you can see their content. You can perhaps do so by creating a fake Instagram account.
While this solution isn’t supported by Instagram, it does still technically work. You have a much higher chance of being able to bypass privacy and visibility settings by doing this.
However, we still have to share the disclaimer that this is an unethical way of doing it, so while you can certainly try it, you can do so at your own risk – we do not condone this type of practice.
How to create a fake Instagram account:
- Try to make your profile as interesting as possible and use high-quality photos. We recommend using a female persona because your chances of succeeding will be higher.
- If you’re going to create a fake female account, then you need to upload content that’s going to be relevant to that female’s interests. Perhaps you could see what’s current among female influencers and use this as a guide.
- Start out by setting your Instagram to private. This will cause the person you are targeting to become curious.
- Send a follow request to the person you want to follow.
- If you still don’t get a response, you can always try messaging them directly and explaining to them why you want to follow them and see their content.
Use Instagram Viewer Tools
Just like with engagement, there are many different companies out there who claim they can help you see the content of Instagram profiles that are switched to private. However, we must say here that you need to be careful when visiting these websites. This is because they could contain a lot of spam, especially if they’re saying that you don’t need to pay for their service.
If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Websites like these often contain dangerous malware or even viruses.
Some of these websites try to make you do a survey that will eventually ask for your credit card information, which you don’t want to give them.
This is how they do so:
- They will request that you give them your Instagram username.
- They will ask you whether you want to download or view the photos of your target user.
- They will also ask for access to your personal information.
- They will finally take you to the account that you want to look at.
Again, we don’t recommend that you use any of these websites. They aren’t safe to be visiting, and in an age where it’s easy to get scammed, you just don’t want to put yourself at risk like that.
Additionally, Instagram has strict rules about third-party companies having access to users’ data. This means that while companies like this may be able to make a list of the people you want to see, they won’t be able to see any of their content, just like you can’t.
Top Tools for Instagram Growth & Engagement
All of these methods can potentially help you to view those private Instagram accounts. We think that the best method is the first one, which is simply requesting a follow and messaging the person to tell them of your intentions. This is because it’s ethical and you won’t get into trouble for doing so.
The other options are viable, but they do come with their risks. This is why you need to proceed with caution and know that there’s no guarantee that companies like this aren’t going to steal your personal information.
Another option is to try and grow a stronger following of your own on Instagram. People tend to accept follow requests from people on Instagram who have large followings.