We all want to know who’s lurking on our social media profiles, but the truth is that none of the major social media platforms will let you access this information—not even if you’re a verified user.
Despite this, there is an endless litany of third-party apps for Instagram that promise to:
- Show you if another user searched for you.
- Track which users recently viewed your profile.
- List followers who see your posts, even if they don’t comment or like.
To be clear, there is no way a third-party app can find this information for you. It isn’t tracked in any way that users—or apps they install—can access.
These fake apps and browser extensions sure look convincing, though. Here’s why: They might fill your “recent views” with randomly generated lists of real accounts that update each time you refresh the app. It’s a clever trick, but a trick nonetheless. These views aren’t real.
If an app or browser extension claims it can show you who’s looking at your Instagram profile or stalking your posts, it’s lying. Don’t download it, and delete any similar apps you’ve tried. Depending on how bad the crappy app in question is, it might be tracking and selling your data, overloading you with ads, or seeding your device with malware. And even if it’s completely innocent, it won’t do anything useful.
The only way to know if someone saw your Instagram post is if they liked or commented on it—or if they mention it to you personally. Yes, you can obviously see who has viewed your Instagram stories, but that’s different than a regular Instagram post.
Some apps can alert you when someone unfollows you. This is different from “tracking” who looks at your profile, however, since your followers list is always accessible to you; these apps are simply alerting you to a change that would otherwise go unmentioned.
Sure, LinkedIn Premium users can get a snapshot of how often their account appeared in searches and a list of who checked out their profile—if they are willing to pay for it. But there are no such features available for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Facebook, and what ever it promises, no app is going to be able to rout out your stalkers and secret admirers.