Instagram has become an important tool for brand marketing. You can buy and sell on Instagram and it’s a big hub for promoting visual content and influencing trends. Different features, like Instagram stickers, stories, IGTV, and  Reels, allow you to engage better with your audience. 

One would think that to reach more of the public, brands would open up their social media. But, more and more brands, influencers, and other types of accounts are opting to go private on Instagram… What’s up with that? Do private Instagrams get more followers?

Private vs Public: The Differences

There are some basic differences between having a public and private account. With a public account, you can get Instagram analytics to help you track your engagement. 

Public accounts also allow you to switch to business or creator accounts, giving you special features like an online shop. You also get access to Instagram Ads and promotion features. Most importantly, a public account appears more widely – in searches, on feed lists, and on the Explore page. 

The simplest difference, though, is that being private means that only your followers can see or engage with your content. Going private on the ‘Gram means being less open to just anybody. 

However, you can’t have a private business account. This, coupled with the fact that you’ll get less reach, is why a private account might not be the best choice for brands and businesses. 

Why Are Some Instagram Accounts Going Private?

Going private can provide some benefits for certain types of accounts – like meme profiles. Here are some of those benefits explained.

1. Private Instagram Accounts May Get More Followers

If you’re looking for the answer to the question: “do private Instagrams get more followers?” Well, the answer is…sometimes.

There’s nothing better than a little exclusivity to spread some FOMO. When your account is private, people need to follow you to gain access to your content. This creates mystery and intrigue – especially if that account has a huge following. It gets people asking, “What is the hype about?”

The best example of how going private can help increase your following are meme pages. If your friend sends you a DM to check out a hilarious meme (crying emojis and all), you’re going to want to see what that’s about. 

If the meme account is private, you’ll have to follow it to see the meme… And, of course, you’re motivated to follow because everybody loves a good laugh! 

Private messages like this are one of the main ways that meme accounts gain followers. For example, Reid Hailey (Co-Founder of Doing Things Media) says that they jumped from 10,000 followers per week to 100,000 by switching to private! 

However, this strategy isn’t quite as effective for businesses as they aren’t just putting out entertaining posts. Rather, they’re trying to promote and sell their products so it wouldn’t make sense to limit their visibility by going private.

Exclusive content attracts followers

2. Follower Retention

Instagram works just a bit harder to help private accounts keep their followers. Before a follower can decide whether to unfollow you, there is a pop-up message that checks if they’re sure. This makes the user think again about what they’re leaving behind… and if your content is awesome, it could make them think twice about it and decide to stick around!

Another thing followers might think about is that there’s no guarantee they could follow the account again. The account owner might not accept a follow request the second time around. So, basically, there can be no turning back!

3. Content Control And Safety

With better technology and an increase in online activity, it’s become difficult to control who sees your content. Being private helps with that. Having a private account gives you more control than being public does and it limits who has access to your content. This is the biggest plus – you can decide who’s watching!

This control makes it trickier for content thieves to repost or use your pictures and videos. Many accounts simply repost other people’s content. Going private helps avoid this. It’s also a huge plus for the exclusivity factor if your account is the only place to see what you’re posting. This is a massive benefit for artists, meme pages, and other creative content creators. 

It’s not just your content that’s safer, but you have more control over your followers so you can deal better with trolling and harassment. 

If you get a follow request from a sketchy account, you can simply reject it. And if you’re getting harassed by an account that’s already following you, simply kick them to the curb! Going private can be awesome for simple self-care and peace of mind.

4. Separating Business From Pleasure

Posting some risqué, sensitive, or personal stuff? Going private might be a good idea.

Some sensitive content could get your account reported, causing your account’s suspension. Private accounts are less likely to be reported for sensitive material as your followers are there to enjoy your content.

This is yet another reason why going private is great for accounts like meme profiles who might post some (possibly) offensive content every now and then. 

Is Going Private Right For You?

Making your account private is easy but is it the right move for you or your brand? Going private depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what kind of account you have. It’s not really suitable for all accounts. 

Yes, the benefits we’ve shared are real, but they tend to work out for only certain types of accounts. So, it’s important to think about your brand’s size, aims, and the type of content you produce.

Like we explained, meme accounts can use privacy to their benefit to gain and retain followers. Accounts with a big following could also do well with a private account because of the FOMO factor. These accounts don’t really need to work to grow their following.

If you don’t have a big following yet or aren’t dealing in memes, going private probably isn’t your best bet. Being private has many cons, but the biggest has to be the decreased visibility. 

Your account does not show up on hashtag feeds, geographic tag feeds, and the Explore page. You also get a limited amount of engagement as it only comes from your existing followers.

Woman on Instagram account

So Should You Switch To A Private Instagram?

Now that you know the answer to the question “do private Instagrams get more followers?” and you’re weighing the pros and cons of making the switch, think about this… What are you trying to achieve? Will going private help you reach your goals? Will having a private account benefit you?

Being private limits growth and is detrimental to most accounts. So, unless you’re a meme account, entertainment profile, or an artist putting out your own designs and creations, the answer is likely this: Stay public!


Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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