Have you checked to see who has viewed your Instagram story, and noticed there are a lot of bot accounts on the list?
Not only does this seem strange, but it can even make you uncomfortable if you aren’t sure who these people are.
So, why are bots watching your story in the first place, and how can you prevent it from happening?
In this article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know!
Why Are Bots Watching My Story, Anyway?
So, what do bots actually have to gain from watching your story?
Ultimately, it comes down to two key reasons.
The first is that it may not be a bot at all – rather, it’s possible somebody is trying to view your story without you realizing it was them.
There are websites online that allow you to type in an Instagram username, and then the website will view the story on their behalf. Then, it will display it back to them.
In these instances, the person’s Instagram account will be hidden – since technically, it’s the website viewing the story, not them.
What’s far more common however – especially if you are noticing a large amount of bots viewing your story, is that people are using automated software to view thousands of people’s stories quickly.
The idea here is that you’ll get curious about who they are, you’ll tap through to their profile, and maybe you’ll follow them. So, in other words, they are simply trying to gain followers.
While this surely doesn’t work that often, when you are able to view thousands – or even tens of thousands of Instagram stories, they are surely gaining a small but steady following with this strategy.
So, how do you make it stop? Let’s look over that now!
How To Stop Bots From Watching Your Story
Set Your Story To Specific People Only
The first thing you may want to consider doing is hiding your story from the public, and restricting it to certain people.
This doesn’t require that you make your entire Instagram account private, however, it will ensure that not just anybody can view the story that you post.
For example, when you go to post a new story on Instagram, you have the option to share it with ‘Close Friends’ rather than making it public.
By choosing this option, only the people you’ve selected as close friends are able to see that you’ve posted a story, and view it.
Even if somebody is following you, they will not be able to see it unless they’re a close friend. This immediately makes it impossible for bots to view your story, without having to make any further changes to your Instagram account.
Make Your Account Private
This option is much more drastic, but equally as effective. As a bonus, your entire following will still be able to see your story, while non-followers will have no idea that you ever even posted one.
When you set your account to private, it can no longer be viewed by anybody that is not following you – including bots.
Plus, in order for someone to follow you, you must first manually approve them before they can see anything that you publish – giving you extreme control over who can, and cannot view your content.
To make your account private on Instagram, follow these steps:
- Open the Instagram app.
- Navigate to your profile.
- In the top-right corner, tap on the icon with three horizontal lines.
- Tap on ‘Settings.’
- Tap on ‘Privacy.’
- Under the ‘Account privacy’ section, toggle ‘Private account’ on.
Your account will immediately become private. Note that you can follow these steps again to make your account public if you ever change your mind!
Block The Bots As They Pop Up
Another option is to simply block the bots that pop up, as you notice them.
This can be done by tapping through to their profile, tapping on the icon with three dots in the top-right corner, and then tapping on the ‘Block’ button.
This strategy has its ups and downs.
On one hand, it allows you to continue posting stories publicly, without needing to make your account private.
However, often there are more bots than we can handle – and even if you block the ones that view your current story, there may be a whole new set of bots the next time you post.
This has you constantly playing whack-a-mole with the new bots that pop up, which can be quite annoying to deal with.
However, if it’s the same bots viewing your story over and over again, than simply blocking them might be a workable solution.
Unfortunately, There Is No Perfect Solution For Public Accounts
If you’re insistent on keeping your account public, bots are sort of an inevitability.
That is, there is no perfect solution to get rid of them completely, as new bot accounts will continue discovering you over time. This means that until Instagram comes up with new ways to detect and stop bots, they may just have to be ignored.
If you’re wondering where they find you, it typically comes down to two methods:
- Bots will watch the stories of everyone who posts a certain hashtag.
- Bots will watch the stories of everyone who follows a certain account.
Remember, their goal (typically) is to get followers. So, if you’ve shown an interest in say – tennis, by following a tennis account, you may start getting attention from bots that also run tennis accounts.
Since it’s so easy for bots to discover your account while just using Instagram normally, they really can’t be avoided.
So, you will need to consider the options above to handle the problem the best that you can.
Despite Instagram’s efforts, bots are still a huge problem on the platform.
However, by restricting who can view your story – or even making your account private entirely, you can immediately stop bots from viewing the stories that you post.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and you’ll manage to resolve your bot problem. If you have any other questions about Instagram, ask them below and I’ll see if I can help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister