Who Viewed Your Instagram Story in 2021: Can You Tell, Who Did, and More..
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
And not many take this saying as seriously as social media platforms. In August 2016, Instagram tore a page out of Snapchat’s playbook by launching the Story feature—media that disappears after some time rather than linger indefinitely. How original!
Individuals and brands alike use it extensively. Whether it be to share a quick update of you having a swell time on the beach or to get valuable feedback with a tidy, titillating poll.
A narrow window
Over time, Instagram Stories has received a rich trove of quality-of-life updates, such as donation stickers and shoppable tags.
Still, a defining element of the Stories format has remained largely unchanged.
Media shared to your Story vanish (are not viewable by others) from your Feed, profile, and DM after 24 hours. An attribute that neatly distinguishes it from Instagram Video and Instagram Posts.
To extend this 24-hour window, you’ll have to add the Story photo or video to Highlight; where it will remain available for viewing for as long as you keep it up.
Social media networks are all about sharing experiences and moments. A critical aspect of this activity is feedback and a way to quantitatively measure interactions.
Consequently, for the average Instagrammer, creators, and businesses targeting the 500 million plus active IG Stories userbase; one of the core, pressing queries that needs resolving is:
Can I see who views my Instagram story?
In this concise guide, we answer that and a smattering of follow-up questions.
Let’s get into it!
Can you see who viewed your Instagram Story?
Short answer: YES.
You can tell who viewed or watched each Instagram Story you share.
Only you have access to this information. No one else can tell how many views your Stories get, nor who sees them.
The viewing details you have access to include:
- The number of Instagram accounts that have seen each story.
- The number of times each story has been viewed.
- A list of profiles of the accounts that viewed each story.
Instructions apply to the Instagram mobile and Lite apps for the Android, iOS, and iPadOS platforms.
The Quick Rundown
To know who has seen your story, simply open the story and swipe up on the screen.
You’ll find the number and the list of people who viewed each photo or video in your story.
Steps [With Images]
Step 1: Access the Story
Within the first 24 hours—while the Story is live: Open the Instagram app and tap the ‘Your Story’ icon in the top left corner of the screen.
After the first 24 hours or the story disappears, go to the Instagram Archive page.
To get there,
- Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
- Tap in the top right.
- Tap ‘Archive’
On the Archive page, select the story of interest.
Step 2: Note the ‘Seen by #’ label
On opening the story of interest, either after tapping Your Story or via the Archive page, you’ll find a pithy ‘Seen by #’ label beneath one or a few profile picture bubbles in the bottom left, where the # is a number.
At a glance, this label tells you how many people have seen the story.
If no one has viewed your story, the bottom left area will be blank with no profile picture bubble or label.
Tap the profile picture bubbles or swipe up to open the view tab.
The view tab offers more details on story views.
The first such detail is a number next to an eye icon at the top right. This is the total number of views or number of times the story has been viewed.
Technically, this is different from the number count in the ‘Seen by #’ label. While the Seen by # label tells you the number of Instagram accounts who have viewed the story. The number of story views in the view tab tells you the cumulative number of times your story was viewed.
Sometimes, the numbers differ, when one or more accounts view the story more than once: The number of story views will be higher. Most times, however, the numbers are the same, when all accounts view the story once.
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no way to know how many times each account replayed or rewatched your story.
Just below the number of views is the list of ‘Viewers’. This is the list of accounts that have seen your story.
The list is a table comprising rows of accounts with three columns depicting the profile picture (plus username and name), a three-dot icon, and a paper plane icon.
- Tap the profile picture or name to go to the account’s profile.
- Tap the three-dot icon beside the name of an account to hide the story from only that account. That account or person will be unable to view the story again.
- Tap the paper plane icon to send a direct message.
Although, you can search through accounts that liked your feed posts, you cannot search through who viewed your stories. You have to manually flip through the Viewers list to confirm if an account did or did not view your story.
Similarly, you cannot tell if a viewer screenshots a story. Instagram only sends screenshot alerts for screenshots of Direct Messages with photos.
How long can you review the number of IG Story viewers?
On both personal and business accounts, you can view the number of views and list of viewers for up to 48 hours after posting.
This implies that although a story disappears after the first 24 hours, you can still see the view count and viewers list for 24 more hours (48 hours in total) if you enabled Archive or added the story to your Highlights.
After the 48-hour window, both stats are gone for good.
Alternatively, you can tell how many accounts watched your story via Notifications.
Upon expiration of a story (the 24-hour availability period has elapsed), the Instagram app will send you an automatic notification of the view count.
To check notifications, tap the heart icon in the bottom menu. Afterwards, tap the story’s notification to open the story’s View Tab where you’ll find the number of views and viewers’ list.
At the start of this article, we touched on the 24-hour visibility window of the Stories format.
After 24 hours of posting a Story, it disappears and can’t be viewed by other accounts.
However, by default, Instagram does enable an ‘Archive’ feature, which as its name suggests; allow you to archive and revisit all stories shared on your account.
This is particularly useful to avail of the extended 48 hours period to flick through the view count and list of people who replayed your stories.
To enable the Archive feature, or to confirm that it is enabled;
- Head to your profile page by tapping or your profile picture at the bottom right.
- Tap the Menu icon .
- Tap Settings. Then Privacy. Then Story.
- On the Story settings page, scroll down and toggle the Save to Archive button if it is greyed out to enable the Archive feature.
Your archived stories are visible to you alone. From the Stories Archive page, you can opt to share a story of interest again, share it as a post instead, or add it to a Highlight.
Who can view your Instagram Story?
Anyone can view your IG story. Even when they do not follow you.
An account that views your story will show up on your Viewers list whether the account is a follower or not.
You will have to set your account to Private to prevent accounts that do not follow you from seeing your stories. Or hide your story from specific accounts to prevent said accounts from watching your stories.
How to hide your story from an account
- Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
- Tap in the top right.
- Tap Settings. Then Privacy. Then Story.
- On the Story settings page, Tap the number of accounts next to Hide Story From.
- Select the accounts or people you want to hide your story from.
- When you’re finished, tap Done on iOS or tap Back in the top left on Android.
- To allow an account to view your stories, tap to unselect the account.
As explained earlier, you can alternatively hide your story from an account while reviewing the list of Viewers. Simply tap the three-dot icon— on iOS or on Android—to the right of the account name and select Hide Your Story.
In addition to hiding your story from specific people, you can customize Story’s viewing and sharing settings on the Story settings page. Other configuration options include:
- Close Friends; draw up a list of close friends to limit accounts that can view your story to only those on the list
- Allow Message Replies; limit who can reply to your story
- Allow Sharing; limit sharing of photos and videos from your story to third-party messages or stories
Dig deeper with Analytics
Brands and influencers get access to more detailed stats on their Business and Creator accounts respectively via Stories Analytics.
Anyone can quickly and seamlessly upgrade their account to a business or creator account at no extra cost. To do so, go to your profile by tapping the or your profile picture in the bottom right; tap the Menu icon in the top right; tap Settings; tap Account; then scroll down to the blue links labeled ‘Switch to Business Account’ or ‘Switch to Creator Account.’
With your business or creator account, you can unpack ultra-valuable metrics such as interactions, how viewers navigated your stories, or what click-through-actions were completed.
Via the View Tab
The first way to check your Instagram Stories Analytics is to follow the same steps outlined earlier to see who viewed your stories.
That is, open the story of interest, then swipe up to open the view tab.
On basic accounts, the view tab only shows the number and list of viewers.
On a business or creator account, you’ll see a Bar Graph icon next to the Eye icon. Tapping this Bar Graph icon reveals the Analytics page for that story.
Instagram aggregates all Analytics information for its diverse array of features and formats in a one-stop resource called Insights.
To check Stories Analytics via Insights:
- Go to your profile
- Tap the Insights button
- Scroll down to select Stories
- Select your time span of choice—last 7, 14, or 30 days
- Afterwards, scroll down to select the specific Story you’ll like to assess. As with live Stories, while viewing the Story, swipe up to see the Insights page.
Via Creator Studio
The Creator Studio is a splendid feature available to business and creator accounts and an alternative route to track Analytics data.
It is particularly favored for its expansive interface when you access it on desktop and the availability of extensive, all-time records.
To fetch Stories Analytics via the Creator Studio:
- Head to the Creator Studio website. Click the Instagram icon at the top center. Then login with your business or creator account.
- Click Content Library. Select the Stories tab. Then sort by post status and time frame.
- Click a story to see its Analytics data.
If your business uses Instagram Checkout; you can track Analytics for shoppable Instagram Stories via the Commerce Manager.
What information does Stories Analytics provide?
On the Analytics Tab for a story, you would find key details or metrics such as number of link clicks, replies, profile visits, sticker taps, impressions, new follows you got (who followed you after watching your story), and how viewers navigated your story (how many people tapped Back, Forward, Next, or Exited your stories).
Alternatively, you can select specific Stories metrics to review on the Stories Analytics page.
Reach metric and Drop-down of Metrics on the Stories Analytics page | Source: SOCIALMEDIACOLLEGE
An inexhaustive list of Stories Metrics include:
- Back; how many users tapped your Stories then navigated backward to see previous Stories
- Call Button Taps; how many people tapped the Call button on your profile from a Story
- Email Button Taps; how many viewers tapped the Email button on your profile from a Story
- Exited; how many people exited your Story—did not watch the next
- Follows; how many viewers followed you after watching a Story
- Forward; how many users tapped the right side of the screen to get to the next story
- Get Directions Taps; how many people tapped the Get Directions button on your profile from a Story
- Impressions; how many views did a Story garner in total
- Interactions; the total tally of actions users took after viewing a Story
- Link Clicks; how many clicks did the link added to a Story get
- Next Story; how many users swiped to check out your next Story
- Product Page Views; how many views product pages received from product tags in a Story
- Product Page Views per Product Tag; more granular variant that reveals number of product page views for each product tag in a Story
- Profile Visits; how many people scanned your profile from a Story
- Reach; how many accounts viewed each Story slide
- Replies; how many replies did you get—Stories replies are sent to your inbox as direct messages
- Shares; how many times did viewers share your Story via direct message or their own Stories
- Sticker Taps; how many times did viewers tap a Sticker—such as a mention, location tag, hashtag, or product sticker—added to a Story
- Website Visits; the number of people who clicked on the website link in your profile after viewing a Story
Brands and influencers can use the Insights stats to gauge how much of your audience is watching, how they’re engaging and interacting with the stories, and to figure out with cold, hard data what is and isn’t working.
If you already use third-party tools to track Instagram performance, paid platforms like Later and Sprout Social provide detailed Analytics that include bespoke metrics such as Completion Rate in easy to digest formats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you see how many times someone viewed your IG story?
No. You cannot tell how many times an account watched your Instagram story or highlight. You can only see the person’s account details—profile picture, username, and name—and the total view count of everyone who watched the story.
Can you know the exact time someone views your Instagram story?
No. The exact timestamp when a person watches your Instagram story is not available. However, if the person were to reply to your Story, you’ll be able to tell when they viewed your story as the reply will be forwarded to your inbox as a direct message with a timestamp.
Can you see who viewed your IG story after 24 hours?
Yes. You can see who watched your Instagram stories after 24 hours and for up to 48 hours. If you have a business or creator account, you may be able to view select metrics via Stories Analytics for much longer.
Can you view an Instagram story without them knowing?
No. Basically, whenever an account views an Instagram story, details of the account go on the story’s Viewers list visible to only the creator.
Nonetheless, there are workarounds to obfuscate your identity when viewing an Instagram story to avoid detection.
Option 1: You can create a new, burner account to view the story. The creator will see the details of your new account, but they can’t tell it’s you.
Option 2: Turn on Airplane mode and turn off your WiFi before watching the story. This method is riskier but works like a charm.
Can you see who views your story if they don’t follow you?
Yes. You can see the details of anyone who views your story, even if they do not follow you.
By the same token, an Instagram user, brand, or creator can see you viewed their story even if you are not friends with them or do not follow them.
Does someone know if your hide your story on Instagram?
No. To protect privacy, when you hide your stories from an Instagram user, that user does not know nor receive notification that you hid your stories from them.
They would remain oblivious, unless they opened a new account or used a different account that has not been hidden to check your Stories.