If you plan on searching for “open source” (publicly available) Instagram content related to your school or students, you should avoid logging in to Instagram.
The first time you access the Instagram website from your computer’s browser, you will be prompted to Log In or Sign Up. Make sure you log out of your Instagram account if you are already logged in.
Do not sign up or log in. The Instagram web address can be typed after the user’s name to go to their profile instead. Please see the U.S. Surgeon General’s Inspector General profile below for an example. You can then access the search bar just as you would be able to if you were logged in.
To start a search, simply type the information you want into the search box. User names, geotagged locations, and hash tags (#) can be searched. The following images are representative of computer searches. A different interface appears if you search from the phone.
How to Search Instagram Profile
Here are the different way on how to search Instagram profile without logging into an account.
Searching by Name
When it comes to usernames, young people do not tend to use their real names. @taylorswift is an example of someone who uses their full name as their username on Twitter. There are many other users who use usernames that are completely different from their real names. As an example, John Smith could go by the username “jboyhere.”
Searching by Location
When searching for public places, if the address is not known, type in the name of the location (e.g., Texas State) and the address may appear. If the address auto-populates, select the correct address from the drop-down menu:
The location of Texas State University is 601 University Drive, San Marcos, Texas. Instagram displays images and videos geotagged to a particular location once a location has been selected. When a user geotags a photo or video, they indicate their location. If you search for a location, all photos or videos tagged with that location will appear.
Searching by Hashtag
# (the pound/number sign) signifies a hashtag on social networking platforms. It is typically represented visually by the character # (the computer science operator term).
The hashtags are the identifiers that social media outlets use to group like-minded content together, especially on Instagram and Twitter. In the event that a word is preceded with a #, the picture or phrase associated with that hashtag is categorized and other users will be able to search for it. Hashtags are a great way to get more followers since they make it easier for others to find or contribute to a conversation simply by using them. In particular, you should pay attention to unique hashtags, as they can often lead you to online youth subcultures that you would not have been able to locate via an ordinary keyword search.
An image of a foot uploaded and captioned “This is my #txst” will be included in the #txst hashtag search even though the image has no relation to Texas State University. Photos can be posted with hashtags, even if the hashtags are unrelated to the picture.
Additionally, hashtags can be used as a way to identify posts that may indicate troubling behavior.
In the post below, you will see a number of hashtags that have been used:
It is important to give details when using hashtags. It is important to pay attention to hashtag variations that are associated with youth mental health on Instagram and Twitter. There could be hidden meanings embedded within some hashtags. Examples can be found below.