You've surely faced it when someone shared a meme post with you on Instagram, but the account that posted the content was private. What a shame! And to view the post, you had to follow the account and, which is even worse, wait for the owner to accept your follow request.

Not only meme accounts make their profiles private to attract more followers, though; many influencers follow the same strategy. In this piece, we'll try to answer if it's worth it – to set your Instagram account private to get more followers.

Private vs. Public Instagram Account: Differences

Beyond the obvious differences lying in restricting access to the content shared in the account, there are also other things you should know:

Public accounts are confidential since only you can control who follows you and sees your content.

How to Set an Instagram Account Private

To make your Instagram account private, head over to Settings > Privacy > Private account > On.

Note that if you have a Business or Creator account on Instagram, you won't be able to make your account private! You'll need to switch back to the Personal account first and only then perform the actions above.

What happens if you use hashtags or location tags in a private account?

If your account is private and you use hashtags under your posts, only your followers will find your content when searching for these hashtags. The same goes for geotags and Reels – only your approved followers can share and see them.

Why Instagram Users Make Their Accounts Private

There are multiple reasons why users restrict access to their accounts. Here are some of them.

  1. Gain more Instagram followers.

Back in 2018 to 2020, there was a trend when big meme accounts and influencers made their profiles private, and their followership grew despite that. For this reason, it is now believed that making an Instagram private can help you boost your followership.

This is how it works: users send posts of such accounts to each other in DM and follow the accounts to see the content. Then just forget to unfollow it if the content is no longer interesting.

πŸ’‘Suggested read: How to unfollow Instagram users who don’t follow you back

2. Protect their content.

When your account is private, only those people whom you manually approved as followers can see your content. And even if your followers share your content with someone outside your followers' list, they won't have access to your posts, Reels, or stories.

3. Keep their existing followers.

According to some stats, private accounts have lower unfollow rates than public profiles. One of the reasons was the popup window (which is already gone, though) that users saw when trying to unfollow a private account, asking if they were certain about unfollowing. This motivated people to stay.

4. Don't want to get reported.

Competitors or haters can sometimes be bothering: they report an account or content posted in the profile to make Instagram block the account. To avoid this, influencers, meme accounts, and brands make their accounts private to control the follow requests.

πŸ’‘Suggested read: Everything about Action Block on Instagram

Besides avoiding a potential block or reports, influencers and businesses keep their accounts private for some time to prevent bots from following the account.

5. Protect their account from bots.

If a competitor has never heard of fair competition, they might think that ruining your account by purchasing bots is a good idea. Making an account private helps to avoid that.

Will I Get More Instagram Followers If I Set My Account Private?

Let's focus on the first reason why users might possibly turn their accounts private. Many believe that if the profile isn't open to everyone, this will increase its followership. Is that actually so?

Indeed, when the account is public, it might seem that there's no need to follow it since the content is already available. When users see an ad or a post shared in their DM that leads to a private account, they follow this account because they don't get what they've come for.

Yet, even this intriguing feeling of exclusivity and inaccessibility won't help if the content stops being appealing and is no longer what users followed you for. This is why after people follow such private accounts and look through their content, they eventually unfollow them if the Instagram content isn't what they were looking for.

To sum up, this strategy of making your account private may work short-term. For instance, after collaborating with another big account that leads traffic back to yours. But in the long term, you'll lose lots of potential followers who will never discover your profile organically.

πŸ’‘Suggested read: 14 Ways to Reach More People on Instagram

Should I Turn My Account Private to Attract More Followers on Instagram?

The reasons we've talked about above are definitely big pros of why people might wnat to have their account closed from intruders.

Yet, there is a big drawback that will affect your Instagram account's performance: you lose lots of potential followers.

When your account is public, your content appears on the Explore page and search results by hashtags and location tags. Besides, not everyone is ready to follow an unknown account even after their friends share a post in DMs. To some, it seems annoying.

Besides, private accounts don't show the profile's stats, so you won't be able to analyse your performance and growth. Analytics tells you what you should pay attention to when growing your account and helps you move in the right direction.

So our recommendation is to keep your account public if your goal is to grow that account.

Get More Instagram Followers with Combin Growth

If you want to get more Instagram followers, making your account private isn't necessary, for there are a plethora of ways that will help you boost your followership.

Combin Growth is one of the tools that can help you achieve this goal. With the tool, you can search for your target audience with super narrow search criteria and even a mix of multiple search parameters and then interact with these users efficiently right on the app: like, comment, follow, and mass view their stories.

Combin Growth mixes multiple search criteria to find the most relevant audience that you can't find with the native Instagram search machine. Besides, you can filter the search results by multiple filters and sortings, such as ER, number of followers, and hide irrelevant accounts.

Then, after you found and interacted with the users or their content to draw their attention, you can track how these actions worked. The tool has an advanced analytics tool that allows you to see your followers and engagement growth.

Try Combin Growth's free Starter plan to see how it works πŸ‘‡