Since their introduction, Instagram highlights have been one of the most successful features the app has ever had. They are fun and informative, and they can be made to blend with the general mood of the profile. Within this feature, viewer lists have been a hot topic, where most do not yet understand how story views work, and their application to the highlights. To such ends, we have come up with this comprehensive guide to understanding the feature.

What’s the difference between Instagram Stories and Instagram Highlights?

Above, we gave a brief explanation of what Instagram highlights are, where they are derived from, and how they operate. Now, Instagram stories are a feature that allows you to post a short burst of media items, be it a picture, a video, or a customized screen. When posting your story, you are given an option to make it a standard story or one for close friends only. The standard story is available to all those who follow you, and the close friends’ option only makes the story available to a select number of accounts, picked out and listed by you. The customization features typically include an artistic function, stickers, GIFs, and special audio, where they add a full library of each of these, giving you a diverse option pool. So now comes the key differences between the two.

Since they are practically linked together, the differences are very minute, where the only major one can be identified as the time period. Instagram highlights do not disappear after 24 hours. Rather, they stay right there on your profile until you decide to remove it unless you put more than 100 highlights, at which point the newest addition will replace the oldest one, and so on. The other difference would be the location, where highlights are found on the profile page, and stories in the main feed.

Can I see who viewed my Instagram Highlights?

This really depends on the time at which you posted your highlight, relative to your story availability. This is so because your story goes inactive and automatically disappears after 24 hours of being put up. If you post your highlight from an active story, then the active viewer list will continuously be updated until the 24 hours is up.

However, if you do what most other users do and post your highlight using a story from a while back, you will not be able to see who views it, seeing as how the platform would have stopped taking count, and the only viewers you will see are those that were accumulated while the post was still on your story. To see this cut-off number of viewers, all you need to do is to open the post. Once on the screen, click on the eye-like icon with a number attached to it. This will show you the specific accounts that opened your highlight while it was still a story.

How to see who viewed your Instagram story after 24 hours?

Technically speaking, you cannot do such. This is because the story is automatically removed after 24 hours. However, Instagram took note of user requests to have some way to see their stories after the 24 hours Is up. They responded with the Archive feature, which automatically places all the stories that you have ever posted under storage, along with their relevant statistical details. It is from this in-platform that highlights are taken, in the event of the user wanting to share some memories with their followers or close friends. So in a sense, you can see who viewed your Instagram story after 24 hours, but these views will be those that were attained when the story was still active, before 24 hours. This, as already stated, applies even if you put up the story as a highlight, where the platform will not count on any newer views.


Do archived stories take up my storage space?

Since they are unique to you, they do take up some of your internal memory. They are stored under the app memory, classified under ‘App Data’ in the phone settings. However, they are not completely saved onto your phone. Rather, a trace of them is saved on your phone, to facilitate retrieval from the main servers, hence they cannot load up without an internet connection.

Can someone follow me and not see my story and highlight?

This is made possible now. When you go to see who viewed your story, there is an option that allows you to hide your posts from specific accounts. Highlights, on the other hand, are a different story. To keep your follower and have them not see your post, you would have to use the Close Friends feature, which might not be very convenient in this case.

Do tagged accounts remain tagged in highlights

Yes, they do. All features that you put on your story will be available if you put them as a highlight. This refers to all tags, text, stickers, and so on.


Quite a number of people seem to have some form of insecurity towards Instagram highlights viewers, so if you constantly find yourself worrying about who sees your Instagram story, don’t, you’re not alone. That said, Instagram keeps adding more and more features to make the stories and highlights more appealing. All you need to do is to update to the latest version of your application.

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.