Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 2 billion monthly active users. However, not everyone wants to share their followers list with the public or even with their friends. Some users may want to hide their followers for various reasons, such as privacy, security, or personal preference. In this article, we will show you how to hide your followers on Instagram in 2024, and what are the pros and cons of doing so. We will also explain why privacy on Instagram matters, especially in light of Meta’s recent controversies and policies.
Understanding Instagram Privacy Settings
Before we dive into the ways to hide your followers on Instagram, let’s first understand how Instagram’s privacy settings work. There are three main options that affect your visibility and interactions on the platform:
- Private and Public Account options: You can choose to make your account private or public in the settings menu. A private account means that only your approved followers can see your posts, stories, reels, and live videos. A public account means that anyone can see your content, even if they are not following you. Your followers list is also visible to anyone who visits your profile, unless you hide it using one of the methods below.
- Activity Status feature: This feature shows when you are online or when you were last active on Instagram. You can turn it off in the settings menu, so that no one can see your activity status. However, this also means that you cannot see the activity status of other users.
- Restrict Account option: This option allows you to limit the interactions with specific users, without blocking or unfollowing them. When you restrict someone, their comments on your posts will only be visible to them, unless you approve them. They also won’t be able to see when you are online or when you have read their messages. You can restrict someone by swiping left on their comment, through the privacy settings, or on their profile.
3 Ways to Hide Your Followers On Instagram
Now that you know the basics of Instagram’s privacy settings, let’s see how you can hide your followers on the platform. There are three ways to do so:
- Make your account private: This is the simplest and most effective way to hide your followers on Instagram. As mentioned above, a private account means that only your approved followers can see your content and your followers list. To make your account private, go to the settings menu, tap on privacy, and then toggle on the private account option. Note that this will also hide your posts, stories, reels, and live videos from the public, so you may lose some exposure and engagement.
- Remove users from your followers list: If you don’t want to make your account private, but you still want to hide your followers from certain users, you can remove them from your followers list. This will prevent them from seeing your content and your followers list, but they will still be able to follow you again if they want to. To remove someone from your followers list, go to your profile, tap on followers, find the user you want to remove, and then tap on the three dots icon next to their name. Then, tap on remove and confirm.
- Block users on Instagram: The last option to hide your followers on Instagram is to block the users you don’t want to see your followers list. This will also prevent them from seeing your content, sending you messages, and finding you on the platform. To block someone on Instagram, go to their profile, tap on the three dots icon, and then tap on block and confirm. You can also block someone from their comment, message, or story.
Pros and Cons of Hiding Your Followers
Hiding your followers on Instagram may have some benefits and drawbacks, depending on your goals and preferences. Here are some of the pros and cons of hiding your followers:
- Pros: The main advantage of hiding your followers is that you can increase your privacy and control over who sees your followers list. This can help you protect your personal information, avoid unwanted attention, and prevent spam or harassment. Hiding your followers can also make your profile look more exclusive and mysterious, which may attract more curious users to follow you.
- Cons: The main disadvantage of hiding your followers is that you may lose some engagement and reach on the platform. Your followers may feel less connected to you, and your potential followers may be less interested in your content, if they cannot see who else is following you. Hiding your followers can also make your profile look less credible and trustworthy, which may affect your reputation and influence.
Why Privacy on Instagram Matters
Privacy on Instagram is not only a matter of personal choice, but also a matter of social responsibility and awareness. Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has a notorious track record of violating users’ privacy and data rights, as well as facing multiple lawsuits and scandals over its policies and practices . Some of the recent controversies include:
- Terms of Service: In December 2020, Meta updated its Terms of Service, which gave it the right to access, use, and share users’ data across its platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Oculus. The update also stated that users who do not agree to the new terms by February 8, 2021, will lose access to their accounts. This sparked a massive backlash and criticism from users, regulators, and activists, who accused Meta of abusing its monopoly and violating users’ privacy and consent .
- Instagram for Kids: In March 2021, Meta announced its plans to create a version of Instagram for children under 13, who are currently not allowed to use the platform. The announcement was met with fierce opposition and concern from lawmakers, child advocates, and parents, who argued that Meta is exploiting children’s vulnerability and exposing them to potential harm, such as cyberbullying, sexual predators, and mental health issues . In October 2021, Meta paused the development of Instagram for Kids, after a whistleblower revealed internal documents that showed Meta’s awareness of the negative impact of Instagram on young users’ well-being .
- Meta Rebranding: In October 2021, Meta announced its rebranding from Facebook to Meta, as part of its vision to create a “metaverse” – a virtual reality where people can interact, work, and play. The rebranding was widely seen as a PR stunt and a distraction from Meta’s ongoing controversies and criticisms . Many users and experts also expressed their skepticism and distrust of Meta’s metaverse, as it poses serious risks to users’ privacy, security, and freedom .
These examples show why privacy on Instagram matters, and why users should be careful and informed about how they use the platform and how they share their data. Meta has proven to be unreliable and irresponsible when it comes to protecting users’ privacy and interests, and users should not blindly trust or accept its policies and practices.
In conclusion, hiding your followers on Instagram is a possible and easy way to increase your privacy and control on the platform. There are three ways to hide your followers: making your account private, removing users from your followers list, or blocking users on Instagram. However, hiding your followers also has some drawbacks, such as losing engagement and reach, and affecting your credibility and trustworthiness. Moreover, hiding your followers is not enough to ensure your privacy on Instagram, as Meta has a history of violating users’ privacy and data rights, and facing multiple controversies and scandals. Therefore, users should be aware and cautious of how they use Instagram and how they share their data, and they should also demand more transparency and accountability from Meta.