Instagram is the place to share your photos, and just like most social networks, it keeps tabs on some weird and wonderful things. Have you ever wondered what kinds of things it tracks? Here’s how to see it all.
Most social networks collect data; it helps them tailor the experience to our needs. Search histories let them offer up posts that we more likely to want to see, and yes, hone ads so that we only see those we’re more likely to interact with. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and what’s most interesting is when we get to see behind the curtain. After all, it’s not often that this kind of data is so readily available.
Instagram makes it possible to see all of the data it has collected on you, and it’s all stored in one single place. Less usefully, you can’t find any of it in the Instagram app itself, and even though you might be forgiven for forgetting Instagram has a web presence, that’s where you need to head to see the data the company has on you.
How to See All of the Data Instagram Has Collected
To start, head to what Instagram calls the Access Tool—Instagram doesn’t make that page easy to find otherwise. You may need to enter your Instagram credentials to continue.
The next page you will see shows all manner of information starting with the date you joined Instagram. Click an entry to see more information about something specific, such as your Instagram search history.
There is a wealth of information here, some of it pretty amazing. For example, have you ever answered a question in an Instagram Story? How about one of those Emoji Sliders? Instagram remembers both of those and will show you when you did it as well as the person whose story you interacted with.
Other interesting bits of information include any polls you’ve interacted with, as well as all of the hashtags you follow. If you’ve ever changed your name, or your username, that’s all logged, too.
Perhaps most interesting of all, you can see which ads Instagram is showing you based on what it believes your interests are.
That’s pretty amazing, right? Now that you know all of the information Instagram has on you, you could consider deleting your account completely if it bothers you.