Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Instagram Stories bug showed content to non-followers

Instagram has admitted a bug caused some users’ Stories to be shown off to strangers for a brief period, on Thursday.

A glitch, first spotted by Twitter user @InternetRyan, surfaced Stories from some Instagram users he did not follow. While Instagram allows public posts from the user’s main feeds, you have to be following someone in order to see their Stories.

While the thumbnails were shown in the Stories tray in the top portion of the app, clicking on them did not reveal the content full screen. Instagram says accounts set to private were also not revealed by the bug, which somewhat diminishes the seriousness of the issue. However, the glitch represents yet another privacy faux pas from a Facebook property.

Related: How to delete your Instagram account

Instagram has a much better reputation for protecting users’ privacy than its parent company, but incidents like this will not help the photo-sharing app’s image.

Jaybird Vista earbuds resting in it's case on a white surface

Image credit: @InternetRyan

Stories has grown exponentially since its unveiling as a Snapchat rival, and now 500 million people a day are posting the ephemeral snaps and videos, which disappear after 24-hours.

In a statement to TechCrunch, the company said only a small number of those 500 million users were affected by the issue, but did not elaborate further.

“We’re aware of an issue that caused a small number of people’s Instagram Stories trays to show accounts they don’t follow,” the company says in a statement.

“If your account is private, your Stories were not seen by people who don’t follow you. This was caused by a bug that we have resolved.”

While the issue was sorted within a few hours of being brought to the company’s attention, Instagram is still looking into how the issue could have occurred.

Were you among those users who spied Stories from accounts you don’t follow within the Instagram app? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.