It seems having a private Instagram profile may be becoming a thing of the past. When people first started on Instagram, almost everyone had a private profile. Today, however, with the exception of Finstagram (we’ll get to that later), less and less people are opting to use a private Instagram profile.

If you can make it big as an influencer, what’s the point of having a private page? There are actually a lot of benefits to having a private Instagram profile. While there are obvious downsides, you shouldn’t feel pressured or discouraged. But it’s always best to make an informed decision. In this post, we’ll discuss what a private Instagram profile is and the pros and cons of going private with your Instagram. Read on to find out if a private Instagram profile is right for you.

What’s A Private Instagram Profile?

You probably know this, but let’s go over it just in case. A private Instagram profile means that anybody who wants to follow you has to request to do so. If you have a public profile, anyone with an Instagram account can follow you and anyone can view your stories. 

Loading screen of a private Instagram profile

Doesn’t seem too different, right? There’s one big thing to focus on here: If you have a private Instagram profile, you cannot switch to a business profile. Maybe you’re only using Instagram to keep up with friends and family and you don’t need a public profile. Then that’s fine! But if you have any interest at all in making a career on Instagram, be wary that you’ll need to switch to a public profile at some point. After all, people can’t discover you if you’re invisible. 

The Pros and Cons of Private Instagram Profiles

If you’re thinking about either creating or switching to a private Instagram profile, you should take a minute to consider the pros and cons. First, determine what you really want out of Instagram. Are you using it to keep up with your friends or as a marketing tool? Maybe you’d rather limit the amount of stories you watch because you can get too caught up in Instagram. Thinking about your goals with your Instagram profile will help you make the decision.

Then, most importantly, how do you intend to use it? If you enjoy a strong beverage and like to capture your shenanigans, having videos of a party-heavy lifestyle all over your publically available social media probably isn’t going to look good to potential employers, not to mention your parents. Another important thing to consider is how Instagram will affect you overall. Some people get really stressed out by social media and the pressure to post – if that’s you, a private profile may be the answer!

Social media posts

The biggest pro of having a private Instagram profile is definitely the control it gives you over what people see of your life. You never have to worry about who’s seeing what or accidentally posting something, since you’ve hand-approved every person who follows you in the first place. You also don’t feel the pressure of making every post perfect. Because you already trust your followers, you’re doing much less self-policing.

But if you’re looking for a larger sense of community on Instagram, you probably won’t find it with a private Instagram profile. And this goes without saying, but you can’t build a following, either. Using a public profile makes you available not only to people you know, but any people you might bond with over common interests. Many people make friends or get involved in online communities over Instagram, and if you have a private profile, you’re missing out on that.

Why Use A Private Instagram Profile?

The urge to use a private Instagram profile can hit hard and strong, but that may not actually be the problem. What you might actually be having problems with is the way in which you use social media. Before switching to a private profile, take a moment to examine how you use your social media. What’s causing you stress? Are you protecting your own privacy and putting your needs first? If you put your own enjoyment at the center of your experience, you may find the stress you’ve been feeling around it disappears.

Can You View Private Instagram Profiles?

For many of us, the big question is, if I have a private Instagram profile, can someone else view it? The short answer is no. At least, not easily. The long answer is maybe – if someone tries really, really hard to see it. For the most part, nobody’s going to go to the amount of effort to use a private Instagram viewer just to see your latest cat pictures. But there’s no guarantee they can’t ask someone else to show them, or go to other lengths like making a fake account. So beware: just because you have a private Instagram profile doesn’t mean you’re invisible.

A private Instagram profile account viewer

If you desperately want to view someone’s Instagram, but it’s private, think long and hard about why you want to view it before you try and use a private Instagram viewer. Chances are, the person’s profile is private for a reason. Violating that boundary is still a boundary. It’s almost always easier to just send a follow request than to violate someone’s privacy. You never know, they may say yes!

Other Options And Maintaining Digital Privacy

In the past year, Instagram has rolled out some features that make maintaining digital privacy much easier. With the close friends story feature, you can keep your stories away from unwelcome eyes while still enjoying the benefits of a public Instagram profile. 

If you want the benefits of both a private Instagram profile and a public one, there’s always Finstagram. A Finstagram is a private Instagram profile you keep in concurrence with a public-facing profile. Feel free to post all the party videos you like on your Finstagram, while you put down your real Instagram on job applications. (Yeah, some jobs ask for this now.)

Last, the urge to have a private Instagram profile may have more to do with how you’re using social media than social media itself. Take a minute to reassess your habits. Are you spending too much time on Instagram, or not following the right people?

Don’t get too caught up in guilt over unfollowing people you no longer care about from high school or old jobs. Your social media experience is yours to shape as you please, so make it that way. Everything you consume should enrich you in some fashion. And if your Instagram isn’t enriching you, don’t feel bad about making the necessary changes.

It’s Fine to Go Private

Having a private Instagram profile is a move anybody should feel comfortable making. In a world that consistently demands so much of our attention, it can feel like a small victory to have one place where we feel like nobody is watching us. That being said, if you feel the need to have a private Instagram profile, reassess your own habits in using social media. You may find it has less to do with Instagram itself, and more to do with the way you use it. Sometimes all you need is a detox. Privacy should be valued, and you shouldn’t feel bad for sticking up for yours.