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Instagram keeps a detailed list of everything it thinks you're interested in — here's how to find it

Antonio Villas-Boas , Business Insider US
 Jun 15, 2019, 04:15 PM
  • Instagram compiles a list of topics it thinks you're interested in inside the Instagram app itself, which is used to show you relevant ads.
  • You can check the list for yourself with just a few taps into some of the Instagram app's deeper settings.
  • My own list of supposed interests is very ... surprising. I can't say it's very accurate.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

You can see what Instagram thinks you're interested in by going into the app's deeper settings options.

The list of interests is, of course, related to ads and ad data. Instagram says your ad interests are based on a combination of who you follow, what posts you like or comment on, and other websites and apps you use. If you have a Facebook account, Instagram pulls data from there, too.

I checked my own list of topics that Instagram thinks I'm interested in, and it's a little confusing. I'm not particularly interested in almost any of the topics in the list that Instagram has built for me.

For example, I have no interest "Tyrol" (I didn't know what that was, but it turns out its a state in Austria). Nor do I care that much about the "Overwatch" game, or Mallorca, Spain, for that matter.

Regardless, you can check your own list of topics of interest that Instagram has compiled about you to see if it's accurate.

Here's how:

From the Instagram home page, tap the profile icon on the bottom right.

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Then, tap the three-line stack on the top right.

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Next, tap "Settings" toward the bottom ...

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... select "Security" ...

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... and hit "Access Data."

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You'll need to scroll all the way down and tap "View All" under "Ads Interests."

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There, you'll be able to see what kinds of topics Instagram thinks you're interested in. There are dozens of interests on the list — just keeping tapping "View More" and the list will fill in.

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To me, the list seems completely off. I'm interested in soccer, but not the player Lionel Messi in particular, who shows up in my list. And the rest isn't especially appealing, either - in fact, I wouldn't tap on any ads that showed me anything on this list.

This isn't a call for Instagram to improve its data tracking and collection, but it's still interesting to see what a major company thinks I'm interested in. Apparently, it has no idea, which actually offers some kind of relief. It's also a good thing that Instagram is being transparent and lets users see this kind of data, too.

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