Web profiles, Facebook posts, privacy... oh my! How to control your Instagram settings.

To some, it mattered that Facebook acquired Instagram. To others, it was just another "no big deal" situation, the latter typically being someone who posts everything to Facebook including every photo they take, every check-in they make and every rant they so badly want to share with the world. Those are also the people who probably haven't fiddled with their privacy settings since their first day on Facebook and this post doesn't really apply to them.

If you're like me, an avid user of social media platforms but one who values SOME level of personal privacy, then read on.

I have Instagram connected to Facebook because I like having the option of being able to post to Facebook if I want to. One thing I've never liked about Facebook is how their default account/privacy settings take away that control from you and suddenly everything you do, whether within Facebook or outside of it, is posted to where even people who don't know you can see what that you did. Your Instagram feed has now join the ranks of default posts so even if you DON'T choose to link the photo of your brunch to Facebook, well, Facebook's probably going to do it for you anyway.

SO! How do you prevent this, you ask? Easy.

Instagram on Facebook
Account or Privacy Settings: Ads, Apps & Websites: Edit

There are a couple of things you can do.

  1. You can either remove the app completely, which means you can't post to Facebook from Instagram again without reconnecting/approving the app., or
  2. Where it says "This app can:", click on the little X in the corner to turn the posting on your behalf function off. What "Posts on your behalf" does is, each time you like someone's picture on instagram, whether or not that person is your friend or a friend of your friends' on FB, it'll show them that activity. So if you, in one sitting, like 50 pictures while at work, everyone will see it when it happens and "Your friend liked 50 pictures on Instagram" plus the pictures you liked will show up on your feed and on your friends' timelines if they have you shown in their feed. I, naturally, clicked on the X. Lastly,
  3. Just to play it safe, because I'm paranoid when it comes to Facebook and I just don't trust them at all, I set "Posts on your behalf" to "Only me." That way, if they turn on auto posting without telling you (and I wouldn't put it past them to do this) only you should be able to see it.

Still paranoid? It pays to check back now and then to make sure the settings haven't changed.

Instagram Web Profiles

This week, Instagram announced and rolled out its web profiles so now you can see someone's Instagram pictures online as well as on your mobile device. You can find your friends' online profiles at Instagram.com/Username.

If your account is already set to private, only your friends who you have approved can see your pictures when they log in to their account online. The general public can't see your pictures.

If your account is public, your pictures will show up as soon as someone types in your username. This is an advantage for bloggers, photographers and people who want to grow their Instagram following because your pictures are now more accessible than ever. People can like and comment on your pictures online, so if you're using Instgram as one form of a portfolio, this is a great feature.

You can't post pictures to Instagram via the web though, so that's nice that they've maintained their mobile UI integrity. For now, I do think this is a great little add-on for Instagram users looking to grow their following.

Instagram Privacy:

  1. Open your app on your mobile device.
  2. At the bottom of your screen, tap on the very last icon on the right. That takes you to your profile page.
  3. Tap on the wheel/settings icon up top.
  4. Find "Photos Are Private" and turn that on for private or off for public.

This then makes your web profile look like this:

Something to remember:

Yes, people bitch and moan (me included) about how privacy is "violated" through apps and sites. But you have to remember that this is the internet and what you put out there is OUT THERE. If you aren't diligent about keeping up with your own privacy settings, then that's too bad.

If you're VERY paranoid about your privacy, there's no rule in life saying you have to be on Facebook or you have to be on Instagram. Although if you're reading this, you probably want to or, like me, need to use those apps so I hope these tips help you some.

If you have any questions about other privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter or other platforms, shoot me a message, I'll be happy to help.