Everything You Need To Know About Private Profiles on Instagram

Everything You Need To Know About Private Profiles on Instagram

The only reason users create private Instagram profiles is to hide inappropriate photos from parents, employers and friends, right? Wrong. There are actually several reasons accounts with millions of followers are making the switch to a private Instagram account.

Private Instagram profiles aren’t just for personal instagrammers anymore, Instagram influencers are making the switch too.

Is switching to a private Instagram account a smart move for your profile? How can you make your account private?

Let’s find out.

What Does A Private Profile On Instagram Really Mean?

Before we dive into why you would create a private profile on Instagram, it’s important to know what you’re truly giving up by making your Instagram account private.

Keeping your precious Instagram photos private seems like a no-brainer to many people, but as a business, or a user with a large following, you’ll actually give up a ton of Insta-perks when you have a private account.

  •  Hashtags- you might as well ditch hashtags in general.

Once you make your Instagram profile private, you can hit “delete” on your carefully thought-out hashtag strategy. When your Instagram account is private, your content no longer shows up under trending hashtags. If hashtags are a part of your Instagram growth strategy, it’s definitely not a good idea for you to make your Instagram account private.

  • Explore- The Instagram Explore tab gives brands and influencers a new way to connect with potential followers. Some say that the Explore Tab is one of the “Realest Places” on the internet. Instead of just displaying the top posts on Instagram, the explore tab is designed to show users content they like, and they are willing to interact with.

Just like samples in the grocery store, users will get a real idea of how an account might look, so they can make an educated decision on if they should follow the new account. If you choose to make your Instagram account private, your content won’t show up in the explore tab.

  • Approved Followers- When your account is private, only approved followers see your content. This might seem obvious, but it actually changes the way followers interact with your account.

For example, if a follower likes one of your photos, their followers will not be able to see they liked it unless they follow you. Since users cannot see your content unless they are approved, if you choose to make your Instagram account private, you will need to stay on top of approving new followers.

Why Would You Switch To a Private Profile On Instagram?

Protect Privacy

The most obvious reason people might want to create a private Instagram account is to protect their privacy. This is a great thing to do if you’re a college student applying for jobs—because trust us, your future employers are creeping your social media footprint.

Creating a private Instagram to hide inappropriate photos from parents and the public actually became a trend.

It’s called a “Sin-stagram” or “Sinsta” and it is the term used to describe a second Instagram that teenagers and young adults create to post all their boozy, scandalous, inappropriate photos.

Privacy is the number one reason users are switching  public profiles to a private profiles. And, it’s a pretty good reason.

Avoid Harassment-

Instagram, like most social media networks, has a harassment issue. For this reason, more and more Instagram users are starting to create private Instagram accounts, so they can control who messages, comments and likes their photos.

If you are at all concerned about the harassment and bullying that happens on Instagram (or that could happen to your kids) a private Instagram account will definitely bring peace of mind.

Give Other Users FOMO-

Some businesses, bloggers and fitness stars have realized it gives potential followers serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when they see thousands of people following an account, but the account it private.

It makes users feel like they are missing out on something, and it might even get MORE users to follow your account..

More Followers-

Speaking of FOMO, if your account is private and people get FOMO, your account will probably get extra followers because people are curious about what they are missing out on.

Keep People From Stealing Your Content-

This reason mostly applies to businesses. As content gets less original and more overused, businesses want to control who sees the content they create. This applies to the most popular type of account that usually has a private account- the meme accounts.

Have you ever had a friend DM you the most hilarious meme only to discover you can’t see it? That’s because most meme accounts are going private, an effort to protect memes from being stolen by other account.

Avoid Getting Banned-

Instagram is cracking down on their community guidelines. Your business account can get banned for more reasons than you think. Keeping your Instagram account private also keeps it safe from getting banned. Especially for accounts that are scandalous or borderline inappropriate. Meme accounts are going private to not only protect their content, but also to control who sees their content, because some of it is inappropriate to some viewers.

Privacy & Instagram Stories:

Since more than 200 million people use Instagram stories every day, we are sure you’re wondering where Insta stories come into play with a private account.

When you have a private account, no one can view your story unless they follow you.

This is important to think about if you are considering making your Instagram account private, especially if you are a business.

Instagram stories are popular and they are an important piece to every social media marketing strategy. So, if utilizing stories is a part of your Instagram strategy, then making your Instagram account private is probably not the right move for your profile.

If you have a public Instagram account, you can hide your stories from specific people. This is a great way to add a thin layer of protection to your content. It’ll keep your stories somewhat private, but also available for a majority of your followers to see, share and enjoy.

How To View A Private Profile On Instagram:

Google “How To View A Private Instagram Account” and you’ll find a number of different websites that claim they will help you break past the security barrier.

The problem is, most of these websites ask you questions that you shouldn’t answer. Questions like “what is your favorite kind of chocolate?” these seem like innocent questions, but these websites are most likely selling your information.

If you make it through all the personal questions, you probably won’t even get to see the private account you’ve been dreaming of creeping.

The best way to view a private account is to just send a follow request. You never know, they might accept!

How To Make Your Account Private:

Like every marketing decision, making your account private definitely has its drawbacks and benefits to consider. If you’ve read this far and you still want to make your account private, here’s how:

  1. Open your Instagram app
  2. Tap the icon within your profile that looks like a person’s head and shoulders
  3. Tap the Settings icon
  4. Turn on the Private Account setting

Is A Private Instagram Account Worth it?

If you are using Instagram for personal use, and you have concerns around security, and who sees your posts, then a private Instagram account is probably perfect for you.

If you have a business, and your goal is to grow your following, increase sales and improve brand awareness, then a private Instagram account isn’t for you.

If you have a brand with a huge Instagram following, and you don’t need to increase your followers any more, than a Private Instagram account might be perfect for your brand.

And of course, if you are a meme account, or any type of account where you want to protect the originality of your content, then a private account would be a smart marketing move.

Have you tried making your Instagram account private? Are you thinking of making the switch? If so, comment below, we’d love to hear about your experience with a private Instagram account!

By Selah Shepherd

A digital marketing freelancer specializing in social media, Instagram and Facebook paid and organic content.

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