Privacy is on the top of everyone’s minds, and with everyone from stalkers to potential employers to worry about, you might be wondering who is viewing your activity on social media.
In this article, we’ll cover what a Facebook Story is, how you can see who has viewed your stories, and how you can update your privacy settings to remain more private on Facebook.
What Is a Facebook Story, and How Do They Work?
When you post Stories, they become visible at the top of your News Feed. Stories differ from other posts in that they don’t allow likes or shares, though commenting is still possible. You can post a Story using the Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, or the Facebook website.
Stories posted by your Facebook friends appear at the top of your Feed in the Stories section. This appears as a series of rectangular panels with the user’s Facebook profile picture in the top-left corner. Unviewed Stories will have a blue ring circling the profile picture, while viewed Stories will not.
To watch Facebook Stories, simply click the profile picture of the person whose story you want to watch.
Can You See Who Viewed Your Facebook Story?
Facebook has made it possible to see your Story viewers. This feature was introduced as a way for businesses to track engagement.
To see who has viewed your Facebook Story:
- Open your Story.
- At the bottom-right of the screen, you’ll see a series of circular profile pictures. This is the list of people who have viewed your Story. If no one has, it will say, “No viewers yet.” To see the names of those people, click Viewers.
- On this page, you will see a viewer list showing who has viewed your Story.
Note: This process is the same whether you use the mobile app on Android or iOS or access Facebook via a web browser.
How to Change Who Can View Your Facebook Story
Facebook gives you some control over who can see your activity online, including your Stories.
Here’s how you can change your Facebook Story privacy settings:
- Open Facebook and sign in to your Facebook account.
- Tap the hamburger icon to open the menu.
- Tap the cog icon to open Settings & privacy.
- Scroll down to Audience and visibility and tap Stories.
- Tap the Story privacy option.
- Change the privacy to Friends to ensure that only those in your friends list can see it. Alternatively, you can select Hide story from to ensure that certain people will never see your Story.
- Tap Sharing options. Here you can select when people are allowed to share your Story.
- Tap each option to enable people to share your Stories or not.
Note: You can also alter how long Facebook holds onto your Stories by selecting Story Archive and toggling the option on or off. The Facebook Story Archive is a helpful feature for businesses and individuals who want to save their Stories for future use.
Can You View a Story and Hide That You Viewed it?
There are a few ways to view Stories without leaving a trace. Keep in mind that these methods aren’t 100% foolproof, and Facebook may update its Stories feature to prevent this from happening.
View Facebook Story Using Airplane Mode
If you don’t want a Facebook user to know you’ve seen their Story, you can use airplane mode to prevent the Facebook app from sending information to its servers.
- Launch the Facebook app on either Android or iPhone and log in if you haven’t already. Then, let the home page load.
- Turn on airplane mode (or flight mode) to turn off your phone’s network connection.
- Select any Story you want to watch. They should be preloaded, meaning you can watch them without an internet connection.
- Once you’re done, close the Facebook app completely.
- Turn airplane mode back off and return to regular browsing.
Note: If you turn airplane mode off before closing the Facebook app, it will report to the Facebook user that you viewed their story. Further, some Stories may not load, in which case you should turn airplane mode off and let them load before trying to access them without the internet.
View Facebook Stories Using the Half Swipe Technique
An alternative method to view a Facebook story without the user knowing is to half swipe from the previous Story. This will let you see the story without registering that you viewed it. While this method works well for text or image-based stories, a downside is that you will not be able to see video Stories.
To half swipe:
- Open Facebook and select the Story before the Story you want to see without the user knowing.
- Swipe the Story across until you can see the next Story, but don’t let go. You will be able to see most of the story (if it isn’t a video). Once you’re done, swipe back to the original Story and let go.
Use an Alternative Account
The third and final way to view a Facebook story without letting the person know is using a different account. This works for people who share their FB Stories publicly, but it won’t work for those who share it with friends only (unless you add them and they accept your friend request).
Happily Ever After
Facebook’s Story feature has become a popular way for people to post about their day-to-day lives, as well as for organizations to advertise and interact with their audiences. Luckily, Facebook allows you to check who has viewed your Story, as well as ways to increase your privacy. But these methods aren’t foolproof, and people can still view your Story without you knowing.