How To View Instagram Stories: The Ultimate Guide

instagram, instagram stories


Countless Instagram users visit the channel every day just to watch Instagram Stories. On average, about 70% of Instagram users watch Stories every day, and 86.6% of users post Stories. Since its release in 2016, Stories has become one of the most popular features on Instagram.

If you plan to use Stories to grow your presence on Instagram, the first thing you need to do is your homework. Spending time watching Instagram Stories from competitors, influencers, and other market leaders in your industry will help inspire your future engagement strategy.Today, we are going to explore how you can find and view Instagram Stories naturally and anonymously. We’ll also cover some quick tips on how to make your stories strategy work.

What is an Instagram story?

Before we cover how to view Instagram Stories, let’s define what a story actually is.

Introduced in August 2016, Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to post temporary photos and videos. After a story is published, it stays on your account for 24 hours, then disappears (unless you decide to put the story in the “Highlights” section).

Instagram Stories Highlight section

Similar to Snapchat snaps, Instagram Stories have become a popular way for quick communication and artistic expression on the social media world. Countless companies, influencers, and individuals are circulating on Instagram Stories, using the feature to create authentic and engaging content.

For brands, Instagram Stories are a valuable way to share exclusive content with your Instagram followers, from behind-the-scenes videos to flash sales. Stories are also a great tool for building your brand’s “human” personality, as they feel less processed and more organic than standard Instagram posts.

How to view Instagram stories: step by step

If you want to watch Instagram Stories like everyone else, the process is simple enough. Start by logging into your Instagram account and going to the home screen. You will need to click on the home icon in the left corner of your screen. the following:

Step 1: From the home screen, you’ll see a row of circular icons at the top of the screen, each representing an active story posted by the users you follow. Click on the account icon with the story you want to view.

Mark icons for active Instagram Stories in your feed

Step 2: Tap to move between photos and videos in the story. One Instagram story can contain a number of photos and videos grouped together. The first piece of content you see will be the most recent piece posted by the account. Tapping on the screen will take you to the next story in the series.

Click to view the next Instagram Story

Step 3: Swipe to move from one story to the next. Scrolling from the story of one of the brands or users that you follow, will take you to the story of your next brand that you follow. You can also click the arrow icon if you are using the desktop.

View instagram stories on desktop

If you follow a user on Instagram, you can also visit their account to see what stories they are currently sharing, and which previous stories they have saved to their highlights.

How to view Instagram stories anonymously

If you’ve been browsing stories from competitors and influencers for inspiration, you might not want those people to know that you’ve been viewing their content. The standard method used to view Instagram Stories automatically leaves a tag showing the account holder that you were there.

Fortunately, there are some alternative ways to view Instagram Stories in an “incognito” way. Let’s break down the three most popular options.

3rd party Instagram story viewers

Instagram Story Viewer, or “IG Story Viewer” is an application that allows you to view stories from your favorite accounts, without logging into your Instagram profile. This means you can browse, collect ideas, and find as much inspiration as you want, even without an Instagram account.

There are quite a few IG story viewer options on the market today, but most of them work in a similar way. Here are some of the best options:


Storiesdown is an Instagram Story viewer that allows you to download the stories you like so you can come back to them later. This can be very useful if you want to save content for your inspirational scrolling file. Remember that you can only view Stories for 24 hours, so it’s helpful to have a backup if you need it.

Storiesdown to view Instagram stories

To use Storiesdown, simply enter the username of the Instagram account you want to see and click the Search button. The app will take you to the latest stories posted by this account and allow you to download videos and photos to your device.

Anon IG Viewer

Similar to Storiesdown, Anon IG Viewer is a simple online app that allows you to view Instagram stories anonymously. Type the name of the account you want to see in the search bar and tap the suggested account when it pops up.

Anon IG Viewer

Then, Anon IG Viewer will load the stories recently published by the company or individual, and allow you to either play them or download the content directly to your device.


Dumpor is another useful tool if you want to browse and view Instagram Stories anonymously. Similarly, for the other apps mentioned above, you can search for the content you want by entering your Instagram username. You will also be able to search for content with a site or hashtag.

Dumpor for Anonymous Instagram Stories

Once you find the content you want, you can download it to your device to access it later. There is even an option to analyze the number of content comments, likes, and followers anonymously.

Activate Airplane Mode

If you don’t want to download content from your competitors’ stories, or if you’re not interested in using a third-party app to watch Instagram Stories, there are other options. Enabling Airplane mode can also make your account anonymous when you click on an Instagram story.

To use this strategy, you will need to pull up the account profile with the story you want to view on Instagram before enabling Airplane mode on your device. To access Airplane mode, go to Settings On your phone, tap the Wi-Fi icon. On iPhones, you can swipe down from the top of the screen to see the airplane icon.

Airplane Mode on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch

The biggest problem with this option about using the IG story viewer is that you can only view one story at a time. If a user posts multiple stories sequentially, not all of them will be pre-loaded and made available offline.

Create an anonymous Instagram account

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you can see Instagram Stories whenever you want is to create an anonymous Instagram account. You can create this account without a profile picture or any vital information. All you have to do is set up the new account on Instagram, and you will be able to switch between the two profiles with the press of a button.

Make sure you’re on the correct Instagram account before you start clicking on Stories if you want to stay anonymous. It’s easy to forget you’re on your personal or business account if you’ve been browsing for a while.

Top tips for Instagram Story

Once you learn how to view Instagram Stories, it’s time to figure out how you can convince others to view the Stories you share. The most important thing you need to be successful with Instagram Stories is a great content strategy, the more engaging and personalized your content, the better. You can also increase your chances of success by:

Add your site

Instagram Stories allow users to mark their location. This helps ensure that customers and local followers can find you. Tagging your site also makes your content more visible to people searching for videos and posts in your specific area.

To add a location sticker to your Instagram story, simply click on the “Stickers” section when you post your story and tap on the location sticker. Once you start typing your site name, Instagram will automatically offer geo-relevant sticker options. When people view Instagram Stories with the same sticker, they can click on the image to see similar content.

Access the location sticker on Instagram Stories
Location Sticker on Instagram
How the location sticker will appear in your stories

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Attract your audience

Instagram is one of the most attractive platforms in the social media scene, providing many ways for creators to connect with their audience. Responding to followers’ comments is great, but you can also take advantage of special features within Stories for better engagement.

For example, access the stickers section of your stories again to add a survey to your stories where you can ask customers a “yes or no” question, or ask them what they like among several options:

Question in West Elm Instagram Stories

If the survey doesn’t make sense, you can use “emoji sliders” to see how much your followers agree with a particular statement, or how much they like one product over another. There is also a question sticker, where you can allow followers to interact with your current story, and ask you questions for a short period of time.

You can respond to questions however you choose and post the answers to your story for other followers to see. It’s a great way to connect with your community on a deeper level.

Use Instagram filters

Finally, don’t forget the importance of getting the right aesthetic on Instagram. At the end of the day, if you want people to see your Instagram Stories, you have to make it look cool. This means accessing Instagram filters, just like you use filters to post videos and photos.

It’s also worth thinking about how you can improve your stories, with beautiful text, animations, and other features that make them stand out. The right combination of fonts, colors, and filters should help your content look more attractive and professional.

dotsforspots instagram filter

Don’t forget, when sharing your stories, you can also encourage sharing from your followers, by going to the app’s settings, then the story, then choosing “allow sharing as message”. This allows customers who fall in love with your content to share it with their friends in a direct message.

Watch some Instagram Stories

Learning how to view Instagram Stories, create your own, and attract new followers is not as complicated as it seems. Stories are more common today than ever before. Once you learn how to get your followers’ attention with the right content, you can use Instagram Insights to continue improving future Story campaigns and achieve better results.

Why not go and check out some Instagram Stories now for inspiration?



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