Instagram is huge, providing what might be the best and most diverse multimedia sharing services available. Each day, the platform tallies up some 50 million individual visits, with a collective active time of hundreds of millions of hours. Though now owned mostly by Facebook, Instagram was first introduced to the world in late 2010, developed and implemented by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Facebook bought into it only two years later in 2012. The concept of the service to facilitate photo and video sharing, with a plethora of added features to make it all the more interesting. One such feature is the Instagram highlight, introduced just a couple of years back.

This feature allows a user to put up reels on their main profile. These reels are taken from stories that the user would have put up. What differentiates the highlights from the stories is how they tend to stick around for more than the standard 24 hours. In fact, highlights are permanently attached to whatever profile they are placed on, only to be removed if, and when the user decides to do such. This question is rapidly becoming too common for comfort, where Instagram users the world over get some next-level anxiety after just clicking on a highlighted story without intending to.

Can someone see that I viewed their Instagram highlight?

They can, till they can’t. Sure, this may seem like a confusing answer at first, but upon understating the principle of how they work, it all adds up. Depending on the time that the highlight was added, the user will not be able to view the people who open it. By ‘time’, we do not mean the time of the day that the highlight is posted, but the time relative to the story’s active time period. The simplified version of this is that if the user puts up a story, and decides to also put up the same story as a highlight, the list of people who view it is tallied for up to 24 hours when the story expires. After this point, the number of counted views does not change as it simply shows those that were accumulated when the highlight was still an active story. The same principle applies even when the user puts up a highlight from a long time ago. So, if you view a highlight that has been up for more than 24, then the user will not be able to see you.

Who can see Instagram Highlights?

Instagram incorporates features such as a private account. This feature basically obscures the account, effectively making it unavailable to users that are not part of the account’s followers list. When you try to view a privatized account, you will come across a barricade stopping you from accessing the profile. To get past the barricade, you need to hit “follow,” at which point a request will be sent to the user. If, and when the user accepts the request, you will be granted access to all the regular features, features that include the highlight.

The overall point here is that the highlights are available to anyone who is an active follower of the account at hand. At the same time, Instagram now allows another feature with which a user can compile a list of ‘Close Friends’, as they are called. They can then choose to make their stories available to close friends only. That way, if such a story is posted as a highlight, it too will be available to close friends, and no one else. Close friend reels can be identified by their rings, which are green instead of the standard gradient pink. Again, none of this matters if you are blocked, where blocked accounts are shown absolutely nothing regarding the profile, not even the followers’ list, much less the highlights.


Can I put videos on the highlights?

Anything that you can put on your story, you can put as a highlight as well. This means you can add videos, pictures, text, and so on. They all appear as reels.

Are the highlights complicated?

Not at all, the same way you would go through a standard Instagram story, that’s the same way you go through a highlight, either long pressing, or clicking to the left or right sides of the screen.

How many can I put up?

Technically, there is no actual limit to how many you can put up. Rather, when you put up 100 clips and try to add more, the oldest one is taken and placed in the archive, and the new one is put up.


Instagram Highlights are an excellent feature. Not only does it make the platform more exciting, but it also serves to beautify individual user profiles, where it can be customized in quite a number of ways. While putting up your highlight, Instagram allows you to choose the cover that you want to place on the specific highlight, giving you an option to put up test, draw, or to put up separate images from the device storage. The feature also allows you to attach relevant labels to each of the highlights. Most users tend to make these in such a way that blends with the general theme of their profile. That said, if you are worried, at all, about whose highlights you view, you can rest easy.

About the author
Alice Metzger
Editor-in-chief, Blogger, TikToker
Alice has spent the last 5 years writing professionally for various websites, as well as supervising a team of content contributors.
A proponent of allowing people to take industry gatekeepers and middlemen out from the equation, Alice supports niche social media influencers and dedicates her time to promote a sustainable lifestyle and work-life balance.