Since Instagram first launched back in 2010, users can’t help but wonder if and how this app tracks how often usernames are typed into that search bar.
For example, is there really a way to see who views your Instagram profile and when they do so? And vice versa, will other people ever know when you’ve spent a few minutes or two hours stalking their profiles?
Unfortunately for all of us, nobody is 100 per cent sure how Instagram’s strategies and tactics work. And the official Instagram app doesn’t tell you on who recently looked at your profile or anything like that.
However, there are a handful of third-party apps that can give you some of the details that you’ve been dying to know.
For example, apps like Reports PRO tracks the followers that you are or aren’t following you back. And this also goes both ways, as the app shows which of your followers aren’t following you back.
Another perk is that the app will tell you if someone unfollows you. While it may sting a little bit to see that one of your former friends or acquaintances decided to remove you, it can still be beneficial to know – in case you want to unfollow them back.
If you don’t want to go scrolling through your photos to see who interacts with them, this app does show which Instagram users like and comment on your posts the most.
According to its websiteReports PRO allows Instagram lovers to get all the stalking-data they need. For example, this app allows them to to see who “anonymously viewed” their profile.
Some of the benefits also include a “detailed account analysis,” “story viewers analysis,” and “tracking multiple accounts.” And in order to get all of this information once a month, it costs about $9.99.
The app includes an option to see your “secret admirers,” which are people “who are not following you but are active on your profile.” And for the price of $4.99, we attempted to see who our secret admirers were and a list of over 150 Instagram users popped up.
But, having to pay for an app that is unaffiliated with Instagram may make people hesitant of if this data is accurate or not. So, the question of who looks at your profile the most frequently may not ever be fully answered.
Lucky for all Instagram lovers, there is one way to test your followers to see how often they stalk a profile, as this technique has been shared multiple times on TikTok. For this hack, say you’re posting a photo of you and your significant other on your Instagram story. Typically, you may just tag their username, and if your followers click it, they are redirected to that username’s profile.
Instead, you can use the “Ask a question” option on Instagram, with your significant other’s username written in the “no” part of this feature. You can then cut off the “yes” part of it, so it only shows the username.
Within this experiment, you can see how many people click your significant other’s username, in a failed attempt to look at their profile. So, while you can’t see who’s trying to stalk you, this is a way to see who wants to look at someone you know.
In regards to your Instagram Stories, you may be wondering who viewed it first. And while Instagram won’t give you that information, it does detail how many people viewed it and who those people are.
Of the bat, one hypothesis may be that your top viewers are the ones who stalk your profile the most. While speaking to The Verge back in 2018, product lead for Instagram Home, Julia Gutman shut this scenario down.
“The answer is, the people that show up on that list are not the people that stalk you the most – it is actually based on your activity and the people that you are closest to,” she said.
Ultimately, the algorithm behind who views your profile the most and when remains unknown. And while apps like Reports PRO may give you the information you want, there’s still some ambiguity around how legit this data is and how it came to be discovered in the first place.
So, one blessing and a curse for all Instagram stalkers is that how often someone scrolls through your profile still remains a bit of a mystery.
The Independent has reached out to Instagram and Reports PRO for comment.