Accidentally liked a picture on Instagram? Check out my post about privacy and notifications for liking and unliking on Instagram.
I reveal the mysteries of Instagram’s inner workings. Some nuances to privacy settings are unclear on Instagram Help, so let’s shed some light. Skip to ii. Privacy below if you know enough about basic account management and third party Instagram tools and websites.
i. Instagram FAQ
1. Can I have multiple usernames?
Yes. Each must be associated with a different email address.
2. Can I toggle between my usernames on the iPhone app?
No, you have to log out and log in to switch your profile. Here are tips on using Dropbox and Fotogramme to make toggling less painful.
3. Can I see Instagram pictures online (in my browser outside the app)?
Yes. Users can share pictures to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr. If a user simply tweets a link to the IG picture, you can see the picture by clicking the link (it used to appear in twitter.com’s native display). However, you won’t be able to login and Like or comment when viewing IG pics on these other network. To do this:
4. Can I Like and comment on Instagram pictures outside the app? How can I manage my Instagram account in a browser?
Yes. The simplest way is to login at instagram.com. statigr.am is alright. There are several other third party Instagram services. This post covers the top 10, however I’ll leave out the cat-related and meaningless competition-based ones in my list. Here are two sites with functionality close to the Instagram iPhone app:
A. Ink361 (formerly Inkstagram) A webviewer to view Instagram photos. Login with your Instagram credentials. You can do everything you can on the iPhone app except add new pictures.
ii. Privacy Tips
You can block a user. This means that even if they are following you, they will not see your photos in their feed, nor will your actions (commenting, liking) show up in their feed. However, they can still see your photos in other ways: If you tweet or post a link to another social network when you share an IG photo, they can click it and see the photo. For example, I am private but I shared to Twitter when I uploaded this Sweetwater photo:
Anyone can see this photo online, but only IG users who I have approved to follow me can A) view it naturally in their feed, B) view it within the iPhone app, and C) like or comment. Don’t put anything on Instagram that you’d be ashamed for someone to see.
You can toggle “Private Account” on or off in your Profile settings. (Tap the person icon on the bottom right of the app, then tap the gear icon in top right for Options.) Anyone who followed you while you were not in private mode will not be affected, but new followers will be in approval purgatory just like on Foursquare. More on viewing private photos online here.
If you are already private and still have a particular user you don’t want to have access, be mindful of new followers. If a user has few pictures (less than ten), few followers, or lacks profile picture that is a red flag, this may be a fake account.
Tip: If you’re concerned about a stalker, save all their email addresses in your phone contacts. When a new user joins IG with an email address you stored, IG announces, “Your friend (Caught B. Ingdumb) just joined Instagram.” Not knowing this, the stalker will assume that their fake profile is unbeknownst to you.
Deleting comments on Instagram for iPhone
You can delete your own comments anywhere and others’ comments on your photos. When viewing your photo, tap the talk bubble icon below the photo. If you slide your finger to the left over any comment, you’ll have the option to delete it. Slide back to the right if you don’t want to delete.
Comment below with any questions.
*This blog is not affiliated with Instagram in any way. My knowledge is based on my own experience and experimentation.
Update 10/23/15: I’ve updated this post for Instagram version 7.8 for iOS 9.1.
Update 8/27/12: Instagram 3.0 was released on 8/16/12. This app update introduced Photo Maps and greater privacy over the following and follower lists for private users (now these lists are not visible to non-followers). This post was originally published on 12/6/11 and the comments predating 8/16/12 reflect Instagram 2.0. I won’t go back and edit all the comments but I will answer in real time going forward.
Update 2/10/12: Due to the volume of comments, it may take me a few days to respond. Read through the posted responses to see if your question has already been answered.