Can Someone See That I Viewed Their Video on Instagram If I Don’t Follow Them?

When Instagram launched videos in 2013, it was a major shift in the platform’s core functionality. With the emergence of videos, Instagram was no longer just a photo-sharing app. Videos have changed the way we interact with others on Instagram. Besides being much more interactive and engaging than photos, videos redefine how we perceive people we know and want to know.

can someone see that i viewed their video on instagram if i don't follow them

An Instagram video can tell you what your favorite celebrity or influencer wants to share today. A video can show glimpses of a relative’s party you couldn’t attend last weekend. Videos can show you the fun things your friend did on their last trip. Videos can tell you what your partner, ex-partner, or crush is up to today. The list goes on.

Wait. Did we just say “ex-partner or crush?” If you have lately been watching videos posted by your ex or crush or thinking of watching them, an obvious thought must have occurred to you more than once. If you view their videos on Instagram, will they know that?

Well, this is what we prepared this blog for! In this blog, we will answer your question by telling you if and when someone can see that you viewed their video on Instagram. Let’s start with the original question.

Can Someone See That I Viewed Their Video on Instagram If I Don’t Follow Them?

If you have been using Instagram for some time, you must be aware that videos on Instagram can take many forms. You can upload videos as posts or reels. Or you can also add videos to your story. Videos can also be sent as DMs to individual or group chats.

Instagram has a separate set of rules for each kind of content. So, whether someone can see that you viewed their Instagram video depends on which video you watch. Let’s look at each case below:


Posts are the oldest and most fundamental ways of sharing photos and videos on Instagram. They are also one of the ways to reach as many people as possible.

If you see a video someone uploaded as a post, you don’t need to be concerned about your visibility. Instagram doesn’t show who viewed a video if the video is uploaded as a post.

If you view someone’s video post on Instagram, they won’t be notified about it at all. It doesn’t matter whether you follow them or not. They can only see the number of times the video has been played.

can someone see that i viewed their video on instagram if i don't follow them

However, if you like or comment on the video post, the uploader can see the complete list of people who liked and commented. So, make sure to avoid the like and comment buttons if you want to remain invisible.

The absence of a viewers list makes sense because many posts tend to reach thousands or millions of users. Showing those million users is hardly useful.


Reels on Instagram are another way to reach a larger audience. They became popular after the success of TikTok. Unlike posts, though, reels are exclusively for short-form video content.

can someone see that i viewed their video on instagram if i don't follow them

Reels on Instagram are somewhat similar to posts in multiple ways and therefore have several common rules to share. Just like posts, reels also don’t have any viewers list. The owner can see who liked and commented on the reel but not who viewed it. Only the number of plays remains visible.


Unlike posts and reels, stories on Instagram are intended to reach a smaller section of the audience. Stories remain visible for just 24 hours; hence the potential reach of a story is limited.

If someone has a public account, you can see their story without following them. But for private accounts, stories are visible only to followers. You can’t see a private account’s stories unless you follow them.

If you see someone’s story, they can see that you have viewed them. They can swipe up on each story’s photo or video and see the viewers’ names. The number of views on stories also includes replays and, therefore, can be greater than the actual number of viewers.

Direct Messages (DMs)

Videos can be sent as DMs on individual chats and group chats. And in the chats, videos behave like normal text messages.

can someone see that i viewed their video on instagram if i don't follow them

So, if you are part of a group and open a video received as DM, the sender would know who has seen the DM. The names of the viewers will appear beside an eye icon below the video on the chat screen.

Is there any other way someone could know their video viewers on Instagram?

In short, NO.

There are two ways someone can find more detailed information about the content they share on Instagram:

  1. Instagram Insights
  2. Third-party platforms

Both of these methods help users gain more analytical info about the photos, videos, and posts they share on Instagram. Insights on Instagram is a feature exclusively for Business accounts. It can show useful statistics on engagement that can help content creators analyze their Instagram performance.

Third-party platforms can provide similar info regarding the reach of your posts and reels.

However, none of the two methods can tell you who has viewed your posts or videos. The data is simply not publicly available.

Final words

Videos on Instagram are an interactive and engaging way to share and consume content on the platform. In this blog, we have tried to throw some light on the viewership data Instagram provides for different forms of videos uploaded on the platform.

We discussed how the available viewership data for videos depends on the type of video uploaded. While videos shared as posts and reels don’t contain detailed info about the viewers, videos added to stories provide the names of viewers. The same is true for videos sent as DMs.

If this blog cleared your doubts regarding video views, you can help clear others’ doubts by sharing this blog with your friends. Meanwhile, you can also read blogs on similar topics available on our website.

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