Instagram Stories is a fun and incredible feature on the Instagram app that enables you to enjoy moments or take a peek into some of your favorite people’s lives as long as you follow them or check out their profile page.
When using the Instagram Stories feature; by default a person will see the number of users who have viewed their Instagram story, and their usernames, whether they are followers or not.
You can watch Instagram stories anonymously by creating a different account, using third-party websites, turning off your internet connection, or using a side swipe.
Different ways to watch Instagram stories anonymously
Unlike some platforms, Instagram does not have an official way to stealthily view someone’s story updates yet.
But what if you want to watch Instagram stories without revealing your identity? Maybe out of curiosity, personal reasons, or just to maintain a sense of anonymity.
Try one of these methods to watch your Instagram stories anonymously:
1. Create a different account
This is the most straightforward method to watch someone’s stories without them recognizing it is you.
You can either use a completely new email address or phone number to create this new account or simply add an account to your existing contact and create a different username and password.
To create a new account; go to Instagram sign up, fill in names and all the necessary details, create a password, and finish.
To add an account go to the profile page; Settings and Privacy> Add account > Create new account, and input a new username and password.
Make sure the public details, for example, the profile picture of your new account are not similar to the previous one.
After creating the account you can now go ahead and view the story. Though the person will be able to see your username among those who viewed the story, they will not specifically know that it is you.
2. Use Third-Party apps or websites
I consider this the most reliable way to see someone’s stories and be sure that they will not know or even suspect that you have seen them.
There are a number of third-party apps or websites like InstaNavigation, IgAnony, and InstaStoriesViewer that you can use.
The bonus is that you don’t even have to have an Instagram account to do this, just make sure that you know the username or in some cases, the link to the story you want to view.
One downside to this method though is that the account has to be ‘public’ for you to view these stories on most of these websites, and others like Ghostify that allow you to view private accounts are for payment.
3. Try flight mode
This method requires pre-loading the story you want to see. One of the advantages of Instagram is someone will not know if you viewed their profile or not.
So just open the profile of the person whose story you want to anonymously see and give it time to load in the background.
The longer you wait, the higher the chance of you being able to view the complete story especially if it is a video.
When you feel enough time has elapsed, switch off your internet connection or put your device into flight mode and then tap on the profile picture to view stories.
Even with flight mode, some devices still allow you to connect to wireless internet so make sure your phone is absolutely not connected to any internet.
After viewing, exit stories and you can even close the profile and then turn your internet connection back on.
Your username will not appear on the list of accounts that viewed the story.
Also read: How to Delete Instagram Account
4. Use the half/side swipe
This one is a desperate measure as it will allow you just a sneak peek of the story. It works best for photos since for videos you will only see the thumbnail.
This method works if you follow the account such that their story updates appear on top of your home page.
It also requires much care to carry out because any wrong move may lead to your view actually registering and being counted.
Tap to view the story update exactly before or immediately after the one you want to see, then slowly swipe to view the next/previous story but don’t complete the swipe. Get a glance and then reverse the swipe back to the ‘safe zone’ and exit stories.
Unfortunately, if the person has posted several stories, you will only be able to see the first and last posts and this trick will only work if you have more than one Instagram story update to view.
Q. What does Ghostify mean?
Ghostify is a website that can be used to see Instagram story updates without the owners knowing that you have viewed them.
It is believed to be one of the very few third-party websites that allow this service for private accounts, although one has to be already following that private account.
Unfortunately, to get the full experience of this platform, one needs to be a paying member.
Q. How do you know if someone has blocked you on Instagram?
Check the following to know if you have been blocked on Instagram;
- Try searching for the username or Instagram handle; if it does not appear in search results yet you are sure of the account’s existence then you have been blocked.
- If you follow the person or know of an old post of yours that they commented on, click on the username and open their profile page.
If you can no longer see their profile picture or any details then you have probably been blocked. If they simply changed their account from public to private, then you will see a message saying “This Account is private.”
- You will no longer see the person’s posts, stories, or reels in your feeds if they block you.
Q. Can someone see that I viewed their Instagram?
No, Instagram does not send out notifications to users when someone views their profiles, no matter how many times they view it.
Similarly, one cannot know who searched for them on Instagram or how many times their username has been searched for.
Therefore you can freely browse through your Instagram account until you find your desired search result.
Q. Can you see if someone screenshots your Instagram story?
Even though Instagram introduced this feature in 2018, it was only for a short while and was discontinued for the sake of user privacy.
As of the last Instagram update, one cannot see when someone screenshots their story or screen records in the case of the video updates.
Q. How do you know if vanish mode is on?
Vanish mode is a feature that enables Instagram users to freely chat including exchanging media with the confidence that all messages will be deleted when the chat is closed.
When your vanish mode is on, your chat window will be dark and show that you turned on vanish mode.
Also, at the bottom of the chat, there will be a prompt telling you to swipe up to turn off vanish mode.
Additionally, you will not be able to see messages from your previous chat with that person if it was done in vanish mode.
Q. Can both sides see vanish mode?
Yes, it only takes one user to turn on or off the vanish mode for a specific chat. The other person will be notified and their chat window will also turn dark.
Furthermore, they will also have an option at the bottom of their chat window on how to switch off vanish mode.
Whatever your reason is for deciding to anonymously view anyone’s stories, I hope this article has provided the much-needed answers.