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Instagram Privacy Settings: Should You Make Your Profile Private?

Sharing your photos with acquaintances, friends and family members on a public social networking platform comes with a host of privacy concerns. I’ll never forget the day my Instagram profile photo was stolen by another user. The experience sent a shudder through my spine. The momentary fear I felt at the thought of someone taking snapshots of my life and using them for God-only-knows-what purpose was enough to make me consider changing my profile settings to “private.”

Whether you decide to go public with your photos or to reserve them only for those you’ve approved as your followers is ultimately your decision. You’ll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider these questions when it comes to your Instagram privacy settings.

1. Is your profile mainly for personal or business use?

If you are a brand, blogger or company, having a public profile will better serve the growth of your business than staying private. However, this gets tricky for single entrepreneurs and photographers who use their Instagram profiles to build a following.

Let’s use a startup clothing company as an example. Many young solopreneurs will set up an etsy shop to sell their items and use their Instagram profile to grow their following through giveaways and partnerships. For these efforts to be successful, having a private profile is pretty much out of the question. But it can be hard to ‘go public’ when you started building your shop through your personal Instagram profile and wish to reserve your personal photos for a select group of followers.

In these cases, we recommend doing one of two things: a. keep your personal profile private and start a new Instagram account for your business. b. transition your personal account into a business account and forgo Instagram for personal use altogether.

2. Do you have a private space to store your most important files?

Instead of using Instagram to showcase your personal photos, consider sharing them only with designated family members and friends through a private archive platform such as FamilyArc. Our software not only lets you store your photos; it allows you to organize them in a way that will be meaningful to both current and future generations by attaching them to stories inside of your digital archive. You can rest assured your most precious memories will be kept safe and private for years to come.

3. Do you hashtag?

Hashtags serve different purposes by individuals and businesses.

For private Instagram users, hashtags are useful for organizing photos into categories that make them easy to find. If you’re a mom and want to keep all photos of your child in a specific album, you may create a hashtag that’s easily searchable for when you want to see them all in one place. The downside to hashtags is that they may be created and used by all Instagram users, which means you can’t create and reserve one solely for your use.

For public Instagram users, hashtags are what help you get found. For example, let’s say you’re a new brand that makes handmade dresses for baby girls. You might use hashtags like “#babyclothes”,  “#babygirldresses” or “#handmade” to help your profile get found by other users who may be searching for specific items using those hashtags.

Before you decide to go private or public with your Instagram profile, consider your current use of hashtags and how you’ll continue to keep everything filed in the future. If you’re already using hashtags in a specific way, it may help sway your decision one way or the other.

These are just a few of the considerations we think you should consider before you decide where and how to showcase your photo collection, whether in a private or public space. We aren’t advocating that you do away with social media. Quite the contrary. Having a social media presence can help you share your stories and connect with people you otherwise would never talk to. However, you should carefully consider what stories you decide to share where and with whom. And, as always, FamilyArc is here to help should you decide you’d like a private and secure space to begin archiving your family legacy.

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