If you, like the rest of us, are an avid Instagram user then there is a good chance that you are as addicted to the stories feature as everyone else!
The ease of posting a story and in turn, sharing an inside joke or moment of your day with your friends and followers is almost as addicting as being able to keep up-to-date with what those you follow are up to, without even having to scroll!
However, the eagle-eyed amongst us have noticed that recently there has been something strange happening with their Instagram stories. Many users have reported that recently when they post a story, they have spotted at least one random instagram story viewer nestled in amongst their usual followers, and sometimes more!
But what does this mean? Are these fake story views, or have you suddenly become a famous Instagram influencer overnight without noticing?
Well, we are here to clear this mystery up. If you want to know why you’re seeing an influx in random accounts viewing your Instagram story, read on.
Mass Story Viewing
If you were hoping that your profile had suddenly become the next big thing, you might not want to read this next bit.
Sadly, the chances are you haven’t become the next Kylie Jenner, and the seemingly anonymous Instagram story viewer you are seeing can be attributed to a new marketing trend called mass story viewing, or mass looking.
What Is Mass Looking?
Mass Looking is a method of gaining huge amounts of Instagram profile views and followers, simply by viewing other peoples’ stories in mass. Hence the name, masslooking.
The trend started in Russia, where budding influencers figured out that viewing strangers’ stories increased the chances of an individual visiting their profile in return.
This tactic quickly spread among those who were looking to improve awareness. It was soon picked up by English speaking countries, and spread worldwide, with budding influencers and brands across the globe adopting it to raise their engagement rates.
They realised that by viewing stories of people in a chosen niche, they were able to make considerable gains in their follower count.
However, for this technique to be worthwhile, users’ stories must be viewed in huge numbers. We are talking hundreds of thousands in a short amount of time. This can in turn, result in 100/200 new followers a day. This may not sound like an impressive ratio, but considering how much time it takes to do this organically, some people may be willing to take a chance.
How Is Masslooking Performed?
Obviously, sitting and clicking on hundreds of thousands of strangers’ Instagram accounts manually is not an achievable goal. Plus, even if it was, it would be more than a little bit tedious!
Nearly every mass story viewer will utilize mass looking software to achieve their desired follower goals. This software exists with the pure intention of viewing as many stories as possible, with the hope that a good number of accounts will check out who it is viewing their stories.
But is this strategy a viable option, or is it frowned upon?
Is Masslooking Legit?
The answer to this question truly depends on what you mean by ‘legit.’
While there are definite gains to be made from mass story viewing, it also comes with a risk. It is true that Instagram doesn’t currently have any story view limits set, meaning it doesn’t yet see this as a big enough risk to breaking the law. However, this doesn’t mean that in the future things won’t change.
Take for example, the fact that when Instagram was first formed, there was no limit to how many people you could follow in one day. This meant that it was incredibly easy for those who wanted to drastically raise their follower counts to follow huge amounts of people and reap the benefits of a good portion of these accounts following them back.
Of course, Instagram soon realised that this risked their users becoming vulnerable to a huge amount of spammy content and potentially harmful cyberattacks. Therefore, a limit of 100-200 users a day was set, if this limit is reached, your account will potentially be seen as suspicious. This means the same rules could be enforced with stories eventually.
Alongside this, many sites, software or applications that offer masslooking as a service require you to enter your personal account information (including username and password) to gain access. This, of course, leaves you vulnerable to a number of cybersecurity attacks, and in some cases can violate Instagram’s terms and conditions, putting you at risk of losing the account you worked so hard on!
Therefore, it is up to you on whether masslooking is worth it or not.
What Other Options Are There?
If, like us, you think the cons outweigh the pros of Mass Looking, it may please you to know that there are a lot of other options to grow your numbers – without taking any risks.
The launch of Instagram stories brought with it a whole host of new options that make raising your engagement rates a whole lot easier. If you’re in need of some Instagram-inspiration, then see below for tried-and-tested techniques.
If your views or following isn’t quite where it needs to be, one of the easiest (and almost guaranteed) ways to change that, is to work with someone who already has an audience. Whether this is doing a takeover, competition or tutorial with an influencer is up to you.
The best part is, with a whole range of different influencer levels to choose from (including everything from nano to micro!) there will be something to suit any budget. Plus, as most influencers have a certain niche, they will already be active in the demographic you are looking to get involved with.
Everybody loves the chance to win, right?
This is something you can take advantage of when it comes to your stories. Offering the chance to win your product or service if a user shares your content or posts about your brand is a great way to gain followers, without having to do too much work! Plus, it will help form a relationship between you and your audience – which is always a bonus.
Quizzes or Polls
If you haven’t got the budget to run with the previous two ideas, that doesn’t mean you can’t increase your engagement through stories.
One of the most interactive ways to use this feature actually comes at no cost at all! Inbuilt into stories is the option to add a poll and create a question which your audience can vote on the answer to. This is a great way to gauge what type of content your followers want to see, their opinion on different subjects and just develop a closer relationship with them in general!
For more ideas on how to use stories to its full advantage, check out our article which will teach you exactly how to do this.
So, Should You Give Mass Looking A Go?
Just like most things, mass looking is most likely to be too good to be true.
Once you’ve spent a lot of time building up a following and gaining the trust of an audience, it seems silly to risk ruining it with a quick trick.
Plus, building an authentic following is always a much more rewarding achievement in the long run. If you are looking for more tips on how exactly to go about doing this, we’ve got you covered with our Instagram marketing course, which will give you everything you need to get set-up and up to speed on all things digital! Why not check it out now, and reach your goals in no time at all…