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Should I Have My Instagram Private or Public?

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Instagram is a very popular and successful platform to really grow a following, especially if you like to post a lot of pictures or videos. Unfortunately, the larger the following you bring in, the harder it is to manage, keeping theft, bots, and harassments to a minimum.

Instagram provides two options for your Instagram – public and private. Keep reading to see which option would be best for you.

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Private vs Public Insta Accounts

Instagram’s public and private accounts have their own advantages and disadvantages. Below, I will go over both accounts and what some of their advantages/disadvantages can be.

Private Accounts

Having a private Instagram account can decrease the amount of stress that sometimes comes with social media by limiting who can see your account to only your followers. However, there are also downsides to a private account when you are trying to build your following.

Here are six of the advantages of having a private account:

  1. 1. Privacy

    It limits who can see your content to only your followers.

  2. 2. Control your audience

    If some of your potential followers don’t look like the kind of audience you are going for, or look like they might upset the fruit basket, you can easily decline and/or block them from your following.

  3. 3. Harassment

    Private accounts help weed out potential harassers and keep them from spreading negativity to you, your followers, and or your business/niche.

  4. 4. Theft

    Helps keep the accounts that strip, steal, and repost your content at bay.

  5. 5. Management

    Being able to control your audience helps with the management and keeping up with DMs and comments from your followers.

  6. 6. Growth

    Some have found that they actually get an increase in followers by having a private account. Whenever their posts are shared with people who do not follow them, those viewers have to follow their accounts to view the post. However, for this strategy to work effectively, you will need to have a decent following already before switching to private, simply because you need your engaged followers to be sharing your content with their friends.

Three disadvantages of having a private account are:

  1. 1. Your Account is Hidden

    Unfortunately, unless people are directly looking for you, there is nothing to draw them or encourage them to follow you. This can potentially hurt your following as well as your engagement. Many of the people I follow, I didn’t originally think about searching for; rather, I saw their posts come up on my newsfeed and I found them interesting and entertaining and wanted more from them.

  2. 2. Public Engagement

    When you engage with a public account, whatever you say or ‘like’ will not be private and can be seen by anyone.

  3. 3. Hashtags are hidden

    If you use hashtags in your posts and your account is private, your post will still be hidden from anyone who is not your follower. Hashtags usually play a major role in bringing in a following, and if those are not working effectively, your following can be greatly hindered.

Public Accounts

Having a public account definitely has its benefits if you are running a business; however, it definitely involves more management to keep on top of the negative aspects that come with public accounts.

Three advantages of a public account are:

  1. 1. Growth

    By having a public account, any of your content that has been shared will be visible to the public. This will help you in the beginning to get the most people viewing your content the fastest. The more your content is shared and seen, the more your followers will start trickling in.

  2. 2. Engagement

    You can receive likes and comments on your posts even by those who do not follow you.

  3. 3. Business/Creator Account

    If you want a business or creator account on Instagram, it needs to be public. There are some benefits to this as business and creator accounts have access to Instagram Insights where you can see the analytics of your activity, content, and audience helping you gage what’s working and not working for your growth and engagement. You also have availability to run ads with your business or creator account making your content even more available and seen by potential new followers.

Three of the disadvantages of a public account are:

  1. 1. No Privacy Control

    Anyone can follow you and/or have the potential to see and engage with your posts including audiences you are trying to avoid. You can block people individually, but that can be tedious depending on how many unwanted viewers you are dealing with.

  2. 2. Harassers and Bots

    Having a public account makes it more difficult to weed out bots and possible harassers.

  3. 3. Theft

    As anyone can have access to your content, unfortunately it is all too common for some to steal your content and repost it without your permission or giving you credit.

pink sky 7 silhouette people following a single man

Is it Safe to Let Strangers Follow You on Instagram?

This really depends. If you are uploading personal pictures of yourself or posting personal information about yourself, then you run the risk of those pictures and/or info being stolen. However if you are a business or an influencer trying to bring in as many followers as you can, it would be ideal to allow strangers to follow you.

There are some copyright laws to help discourage followers from screenshotting and stealing your content; but to ensure your safety, it is always wise not to post anything too personal on the internet as a safety net.

Having a public account vs a private account on Instagram really depends on what you are looking for and planning to do with your account. More and more influencers are going private with their accounts with good success rates. But having the option of a public account to review the analytics of what’s working and what’s not could really boost your ability to bring in a larger following.