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The only reason a user will create a private Instagram profile is to hide inappropriate photos from their friends, employers, and parents, right? Wrong. There are actually a number of reasons why there are millions of accounts out there on Instagram that have decided to make the switch to private.
The thing is private Instagram profiles aren’t just for personal Instagram users anymore; there are Instagram influencers everywhere that are making the switch as well.
So, is this change a smart move for your Instagram profile? How do you go about making your Instagram profile private? Let’s dive in.
What Does a Private Profile Mean on Instagram?
Before we get started on why you would create a private profile on Instagram, it’s essential to know what you are giving up by making the switch.
Keeping your Instagram posts private seems like a simple solution to a lot of people, but if you are a business, or you’ve got a large following, you actually might be giving up more perks than it’s worth.
When you make your Instagram profile private, you can say goodbye to your hashtag strategy that you probably spent hours on. When your Instagram profile is set to private, your content is no longer going to show up under trending hashtags.
If hashtags play a big role in your Instagram growth strategy, then we definitely don’t recommend that you make your Instagram profile private.
The Explore Page
The Instagram Explore Page allows influencers and brands a new way to connect with potential followers. Some people say that they Explore Page is one of the best parts of Instagram.
Instead of just displaying the top posts, the Explore Page is developed and designed to show users content that they like, and they are highly likely to want to interact with.
Just like when you get a sample in a grocery store, with the Explore Page users can get a really good idea of what a profile is going to offer them, so that they can make an informed decision on whether they want to check it out further.
If you make your Instagram account private, then your content is going to show up on the Explore Page.
When your account has been switched to private, then only approved followers are going to see your content. This is obvious to a lot of people, but this is actually going to change the way that followers interact with your profile.
If someone interacts with one of your posts, their followers aren’t going to be able to see that they liked it unless they are following you as well. Because they can’t see your content unless they have been approved to see it, you need to stay on top of approving those requests for new followers.
Why Would You Make the Switch?
Protect Your Privacy
One of the biggest reasons why you might want to create a private Instagram profile is to protect your privacy. This is a really good thing to do if you are a college student applying for a job. Your future employer is definitely going to want to check you out on social media, and if they see some inappropriate things, they are going to be less likely to hire you.
Creating a private profile to hide inappropriate photos from the public and your parents actually became a trend. It is called ‘Sinstagram’ and it is a term that is being used to describe a second Instagram profile where teenagers and young adults can post images of them drinking, smoking, and just generally misbehaving.
Of course, privacy is the number one reason that people are switching their public profiles to private ones. Honestly, we think that it is a pretty good reason.
Avoid Being Harassed
Instagram, like a lot of social networks out there, has a harassment issue. For this reason, a lot of Instagram users are choosing to create private Instagram profiles, so that they can control who comments, likes, and messages them.
If you are worried about the bullying and harassment that occurs on Instagram, then a private Instagram profile is definitely going to bring peace of mind.
Gives People the Sense That They are Missing Out
Some influencers out there have come to the conclusion that switching their Instagram profile to private gives potential follower’s serious FOMO, otherwise known as the ‘fear of missing out’. They see that thousands of people are following their profile, but they can also see that it’s set to private, and straight away they want to be in the exclusive club.
It makes people feel like they’re missing out on something, and it might actually get even more people to follow your profile.
Speaking of missing out, if your account is set to private, and people feel like they’re missing out on something, you’ll probably get more followers, because people want to know what they’re missing out on.
Keeps People from Stealing Your Content
This reason mostly applies to brands. As content becomes less original and more saturated, brands want to be able to control who sees the content that they upload. This applies to one of the most popular kinds of Instagram profiles that usually have their profile set to private; the meme account.
Have you ever had someone direct message you a hilarious meme, only to find out that you can’t see it? This is because the majority of meme accounts are private, in an effort to protect their content being stolen, and posted elsewhere.
Avoid Getting Banned
Instagram has some pretty stringent community guidelines in place, and they will go a long way to make sure that these aren’t compromised. Your brand’s account can get banned for more reasons than you might think.
Keeping your Instagram profile private also keeps it safe from being banned. This is especially relevant for profiles that are scandalous, or borderline inappropriate.
Meme accounts tend to make the switch to private not only to protect their content, but to also be able to control who sees their content, because some of it can be inappropriate for younger viewers.
Instagram Stories and Privacy
Because more than 500 million people are on Instagram using Instagram stories every day, we are sure that you’re wondering where this feature fits in with a private account. When you have a private profile, no one can view your Instagram stories unless they are following you.
This is relevant to consider if you are thinking about making your Instagram account private, particularly if you are a brand.
Instagram stories are popular, and they are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to every social media marketing strategy out there. This means that if your Instagram stories are inherent to your content strategy, then making your Instagram profile private is probably not going to be the right move.
The good news is that if you have a public Instagram profile, you can hide your stories from particular people. This is a really good way to add a layer of protection so that you can keep some of your Instagram stories private, while also leaving the majority of them available for all of your followers to see.
How to View a Private Profile on Instagram
If you Google ‘how to view a private Instagram account’, you will find a number of different websites out there that claim they can help you get around Instagram’s security measures by using a private Instagram viewer.
The issue is, most of these websites are going to ask you questions that you shouldn’t answer. The questions themselves might seem generic, but the bottom line is that these websites are actually trying to sell your information.
If you make it through all of the personal questions, you probably aren’t even going to gain access to the private account that you have been hoping to view.
We think that the best way to view a private Instagram profile is to just send them a follow request.
How to Make Your Account Private
Like every marketing decision, choosing to make your account private definitely has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you’ve read this article up until now and you still want to make your account private, let’s take a look at how you can do it.
- Open the Instagram app.
- Select the icon on your profile that looks like the outline of a person.
- Select the settings icon.
- Turn on the ‘private account’ setting.
Is it Worth Having a Private Instagram Account?
If you are using Instagram for personal reasons, and you’ve got concerns around security and who is looking at your posts, then a private Instagram profile is probably a good idea.
If you have a business, and your goal is to grow a following, improve brand awareness and increase sales, then you probably don’t want to make the switch.
If you’ve got a brand with a massive Instagram following, and you don’t think that you need to increase your followers anytime soon, then a private Instagram profile might be a good solution.
Of course, if you own a meme account, or any kind of account where you want to protect the originality of your content, then you might want to keep it private.
Have you ever tried making the switch to private before? Are you thinking of making the switch? However you want to approach the future of your Instagram profile, we wish you the best of luck!