Many Instagramers have a burning question:
If I like then unlike a photo, will the user who posted the photo know?
This is a follow-up to my Instagram Privacy Tips and FAQ post, which received many excellent questions. The answer to this like/unlike mystery is worthy of its own post because it deals with the concepts of push (notification outside of the app) versus pull (user activity/refreshes within the app).
Can the other user tell I liked their photo if I unlike it afterward?
- Recipient has push notifications on (regardless of IG app running or not): like notification received
- Recipient has push notifications off and IG app actively in use: like notification received
- Recipient has push notifications off and IG app open but not actively in use: like notification not received
- Recipient has push notifications off and IG app not open: like notification not received
The other user seeing your like is first dependent on if notifications (push) are turned on regardless of whether the IG app is open or not. If the user does not have notifications enabled and happens to refresh News between your like/unlike, your action will show there.
It’s not how quickly you unlike after a like, but how soon the recipient actively checks the app. If you like then unlike an hour later with no activity on the recipient side (the one who posted the picture) during the hour, then no notification will be received (unless push notifications are on).
If notifications are turned off and the like/unlike recipient does not have IG actively running (i.e., in the background), then the recipient will not notice nor receive a notification. If notifications are on, all bets are off: they may see the like. This applies to deleted accounts as well:
If I like a photo then delete my Instagram account, will the other user know?
Maybe. See above paragraph. If notifications are turned on, then yes, they may see the like even if you have deleted your profile right afterward.
Thanks to Sarag for the great question.
*This blog is not affiliated with Instagram in any way. My knowledge is based on my own experience and experimentation.