Self Expression Magazine

Instagram Stories: How to Watch Instagram Stories Anonymous

By Lisa @Lisapatb
Story 504713944

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories are a vertical feature on Instagram that can increase your reach on the network. They can a picture or a video for up to 15 seconds. You can add stickers, text, polls, to make them more interactive, and now even add a URL!  

These stories disappear within 24 hours off of your profile area.

However, people can view your Instagram stories anonymously with tools. (Something to keep in mind if you are sharing more personal things.)

Stories are a vertical feature where you can insert an image or video. For example, a story may be a “behind the scenes” look at your business. You can use the same image as an Instagram post for the story, though I prefer to mix them up.

Instagram stories

Finally, you can add stickers, gifs, polls, locations, and hashtags to these vertical images to make them more fun and engaging.

The more you add, the more engaging these stories will be. The idea is to make a short story – showing what’s happening in your world. What is new in your business that would interest your customers? This helps you get people more interested in what YOU do.

With Instagram stories, people can respond via an Instagram message. It’s a great way to engage your customers with your business! You can give a FREE offer or offer a special within the story itself.

Of course, you may also make your stories into reels and extend the reach on Instagram.

With Instagram stories, people can respond via an Instagram message. It’s a great way to engage your customers with your business! #Instagramtips
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Instagram Stories Anonymous Viewing

Did you know Instagram stories anonymous viewing is available?  However, not only do people who follow you see your stories but now people can watch your Instagram stories anonymously too.

There is a site online you can do it from and there are several apps you can download for your mobile device to also spy on others’ stories without following them.

You can use it from your browser on computers, tablets, and smartphones (iPhone, Android).

For example, if you wanted to spy on your competitors this is a great tool to see how often and how they are using stories feature on the Instagram platform.

Did you know Instagram stories anonymous viewing is available? #Instagramstoriesanonymous
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Instagram Story Anonymous – What Tool to Use

InstaStories is a free service for anonymous reading of public Instagram profiles.

With the help of their platform, you can secretly track stories and highlights, live broadcasts (online broadcasts, streams, recordings of broadcasts), posts (photos, videos, text publications), likes, comments, subscribers.

This tool is a great way to watch Instagram stories anonymously online and do research for your business. Business accounts on Instagram are public accounts.

Not only that but you can download Instagram stories anonymously online too. For example, if you are doing research on competitive businesses you could download the info and keep a file as time goes on.

instagram stories anonymous

How Instagram Stories Differ From Posts

When I started talking about Instagram stories, I noticed many puzzled faces throughout the room. Seems they were not grasping the difference from actual posts on Instagram.

How I wished I had a slide showing the difference. (And, yes, it will be there for future classes!)

Then, we talked about Facebook stories and many admitted they’ve seen them but had not tried them or used them.

Notice how they are front and center in the feed and that you can view 3 Instagram stories at a time. If you click on the one you can read them individually and sometimes respond if there is a poll or give them love, like, etc.

Instagram Story Sizes

An Instagram story is a vertical format. They are sized differently as they are a vertical format – 1080px by 1920px (a 9:16 aspect ratio).

Regular Instagram posts are square and 1080x1080px (a 1:1 aspect ratio).

Instagram Stories Background

With the background feature on a story, you can change up how your image or video looks and change colors. Furthermore, you can even give your background a scratch card effect as it opens up by using the erase tool in the story’s background tools.

Now, everyone has different phones so each one may do things a little differently but you can certainly play with your Instagram stories background tools and make your stories stand out.

Fear of Missing Out on Social Media

Fear of Missing Out or FOMO drives stories. People using social media don’t want to miss out on their friends’ lives but stories disappear within 24 hours so they grab attention! Yes, Instagram stories disappear in 24 hours. If you don’t look when you see a story in your feed it may be lost forever 🙁

These stories are not like posts on Instagram or Facebook that stay forever unless you delete them.  However, you can archive stories for yourself or add put them to “highlights” to keep them even longer.

See the circles underneath my profile in the image below with a word in them? You can use images, etc. for your highlights. I used the logo color of Inspire To Thrive for most of my Instagram stories highlight covers as you can see from the image below:


The younger generation on Snapchat and Instagram don’t like waiting so the disappearing stories features are perfect for them! Not only do stories disappear in 24 hours but they appear in the feed initially, front and center.

Stories are teasing everyone to click and look at them today. You may even do a story ad now on both Instagram and Facebook.

Not only do they disappear in 24 hours but they appear in the feed now, front and center. #Instagramstories
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What Else Can You Do With Your Stories?

Polls – Even making a simple poll helps your business to better serve your customers along the way. You can add polls to your story –  So, these stories are great to see what your followers are interested in or not. You get responses from people via an Instagram message (similar to the Facebook messenger).

Add fun GIF images – Because GIF images pop out off the screen. They make your stories stand out from others especially in the 3 screen image view shown that appears in your Instagram stream.

Geotags in your story – Allows people to know where you are or have been. This works well for open houses, restaurants, retail stores, etc. If you don’t want to pinpoint your exact location you can use a city or state and not be as specific. It also helps others know where you are from and often gives your account more visibility.

Share a short video on Instagram – Videos can be used in stories for up to 15 seconds but not one second longer!

Expand Your Reach – Become an influencer and make money with Instagram. 

Share a URL – This is the best new feature on Instagram today. Before you needed to have 10,000 followers to share a link where users swiped up. No more! Now, you can share your URL in a sticker so people can go to your product, your latest blog post, or wherever you want the URL to take them to.

instagram course Sign up for this Instagram class with a money-back guarantee!

Tracking Your Content

On your Instagram professional dashboard, you can see how many people view your Instagram stories or reels. If they view it more than one time you will not know that, but you do get a count of how many people actually view them.

After you do many of these Instagram stories you may notice a pattern of which ones perform the best. And then, of course, do more of those!  Just be aware, you can only view the past 14 days of stories.

Bonus Tip: Katie Lance recently spoke about taking a day off of doing stories and how it helped generate more views the next day you got on Instagram.

What Makes Stories Different Than Posts?

Posts are not as interactive as stories are. You can interact more with your audience via the story feature. Instagram users find stories fun, appealing, and oftentimes will engage with them. You can publish stories more often than posts and not annoy your audience.

what are Instagram stories?

If you want help with designing your Instagram stories do try out Canva – they have templates all ready for you to use and customize! Plus, Canva offers a FREE 30 day trial on the premium version.

How Often Should You Post Stories on Instagram?

The answer to this one may surprise you. There was a recent study that shows 5 stories per day are necessary to be seen and grow your Instagram account!

When posting 5 stories per day on Instagram the retention rate went to 70%! They show that most exits from stories happen within the first 3 posts.

Small brands with fewer than 5,000 followers post on average 3 stories per month. However, posting several stories per day drives better results on Instagram. And like most other social media networks, videos do best!

Keep in mind, using stories may also help with the Instagram algorithm and increase your visibility at the same time. Why not try them today?

You can use the Reel feature as well for your story and messages.

How Often Should You Post Stories on Instagram? The answer to this one may surprise you. #Instagram
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In Conclusion

Have you started using stories on Instagram for your account? I’d love to know more in the comments below.

Sign up for my online Udemy Instagram for Beginners class below to learn more about using Instagram for your small business. This online class gets updated from time to time with newer strategies and tools for Instagram.


What are Instagram stories?

Instagram stories are a vertical format on Instagram. They can a picture or a video for up to 30 seconds. You can add stickers, text, polls, and now a URL!  They disappear within 24 hours.

Can you view others’ Instagram stories of people anonymously who you don’t follow?

Yes with a tool called Instastories.

Why would you view others’ stories anonymously?

To see what your competition is doing.

Can you view a story of people whose Instagram accounts are private?

No, they must have a public profile or a business Instagram profile.

Why are these a must-feature on Instagram?

Stories help spread your Instagram posts and account further into the algorithm giving you more views and possibly more followers.

How do stories differ from reels?

Reels appear in the reels area of Instagram and you can add different effects to them. Reels can be longer than 15 seconds. (Instagram reels can be up to 60 seconds.)

How long can an Instagram story video be?

Your video can be up to 15 seconds long on a story.

What is FOMA?

FOMA is Fear of Missing Out. That is what makes this feature so hot. People don’t want to miss out on these disappearing images or videos.

instagram course

Sign up for this Instagram class for beginners with a money-back guarantee!

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