What’s the level of Instagram Stories Privacy that we can expect?

Trappe Digital LLC may earn commission from product clicks and purchases. Rest assured, opinions are mine or of the article’s author.

Instagram Stories launched in 2016 with the feature that they would delete after 24 hours. They still do – kind of – in 2022, but there are some things to consider regarding Instagram Stories privacy. I’ll discuss that topic in this article.

When Stories first launched, Instagram certainly messaged Instagram Stories Privacy as being high. “Share whatever, it appears after 24 hours.”

Instagram Stories delete after 24 hours ad

And many creators may not even care about privacy. After all, we want people to see our content, but some users may. So it’s good to understand what privacy in this context even means. And while we are at it, let’s look at where and how Instagram Stories can now be used.

Where do Instagram Stories appear?

Stories get a prominent spot and show up on the top of the post feed. So even when there are no need ones, that’s where they are.

Instagram Stories

As far as I can tell, there’s no way to hide the bar as a consumer. You can personalize it some and mute specific users, however.

More Instagram Stories content:

How to find Instagram Stories after 24 hours

It used to be that Instagram Stories completely disappeared from view after that 24-hour mark. Today, they are archived, and you can still find them there. Just go to Settings > Archive, and you get to this area:

Instagram Stories archive


As you can see, it goes back away, and you can reshare (and find again) older stories. So the archive basically means Instagram Stories do not delete. You can turn the archiving off, however. Once in the archive, click the three dots on the top right and toggle the “save story to archive” feature off.

Read next: How to add Instagram Stories to your regular Instagram feed

How others can see Instagram Stories after 24 hours

To publicly display your Instagram Stories past the 24 hours, you can add them to the highlights bar, which shows up on your profile.

Instagram Highlights bar

This is an excellent way to get more out of your Instagram Stories, but it also means that your Instagram Stories privacy strategy is to keep sharing them. You can also convert Stories to Reels now, which is another way to share them further. But, again, keep in mind that Reels also do not delete after 24 hours.

Instagram Stories to Reels

Hiding your Instagram Stories from specific users

You can hide your Stories from specific users by going to Settings > Privacy and then picking the users you don’t want to see your Stories content.

Restricting who can see Instagram Stories

On the flip side, you can also create groups of friends that can see specific stories.

Does Instagram Stories privacy matter?

To individual social media users – maybe. To creators or brands – it shouldn’t. I’m a firm believer in getting the most out of content, building on its longevity whenever possible, and using it in as many relevant channels as possible. So with that in mind, content that deletes quickly can’t have a long-term impact. However, it can have a short-term effect.

For individual users, keep in mind that people can take screenshots or take a photo or video with another phone showing the content. So when it’s digital, is it truly ever private? Probably not.

Follow me on Instagram.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Listen to my podcast