Ah, the wonderful and terrifying world of Instagram ads. If you feel like one thing that you clicked on now haunts your internet browsing forever, then I feel your pain. Online ads seem to infect corner of the screen on mobile or laptop — and Instagram is no different. In fact, a lot of people do their shopping straight out of Instagram ads. But have you ever clicked on an ad, interesting in seeing what it was about, only to get distracted and have it be lost forever? Well, fear not — because you can find Instagram ads that you were interested in or interacted with. They’re still there, living in your profile.
In fact, it’s really easy to find ads you've interacted with in the past — all you have to do is go to your “Settings” on mobile, scroll down to “Ads,” and then tap "Ad Activity." In that section, you'll be shown any ads that you’ve interacted with — whether you clicked, liked, scrolled through, or attempted to bookmark them — in the last 90 days.
Now, I would argue that this is equal parts useful and creepy. On the one hand, you may genuinely want to retrace your steps back to an ad or a product you liked. Maybe you saw a sweater that you wanted to tell a friend about or some nifty sports gear that you’ve been wanting to try — but then you can’t remember the actual name or how to access it again. Well, this will make your life a whole lot easier. On the other hand, it’s a little unnerving — because you might find ads that you clicked on so mindlessly that you don’t even remember interacting with them. Maybe you see a pattern of clicks and interests that you didn’t even know you had. Suddenly, you feel like you’re in an episode of Black Mirror and the world is a much darker place.
So, yeah — this might be a super power for good or evil, depending on how you look at it. Sorry about that.
It’s definitely true that people have been interested in taking a little more ownership of their social media accounts. You can even find all of your old Instagram bios, so you can remember each and every embarrassing song lyric that you put in there as a desperate hope to catch your crush’s attention. Or is that just me? You can also click around to see if someone follows you on Instagram, or delete an archived Instagram story so it’s really gone. Basically, if you explore the app enough, you'll see plenty of ways to take more ownership of the content you're seeing, and the content other people can see.
Form being able to see your old profiles to connect with your closest friends to finding those comfortable shoes you clicked on once that apparently Meghan Markle wears, learning how to navigate your Instagram profile can give you a lot more control over the app. Plus, you might just find something you thought was lost forever — or you’ll discover that you’re an Instagram zombie who taps on thousands of ads and products without thinking. Either way, the power is in your hands.