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Shut off your shared account on Instagram — bug reveals personal notifications

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“Hooray!” exclaimed Instagram enthusiasts after the social networking service revealed its latest feature update. Users are finally allowed to manage multiple accounts in one app, but perhaps the Internet’s collective tail wagging was premature.

The bug is as follows. If you and, say, a colleague have unison management of a single account to more easily post content, the app will let your colleague see the notifications sent to your personal account. Ouch. The notification will only be visible for a limited period of time, but is troublesome enough even at that level. It doesn’t affect the management of shared accounts though, meaning notifications won’t be shown between different shared accounts. Personnel managing companies’ social media channels might be better off letting one person take care of the account until the issue has been dealt with by Instagram.

The issue was first reported by Androidcentral, which also reports that the notifications will appear according to the the original account holder’s settings. While clicking the notifications won’t take you to the activity in question if it was on a non-public account, there’s still a bit of information that is revealed from that simple notification. Users interacting and setting off the notification will have their names revealed to engage with an account and others see a snippet of their comment. It’s not restricted to regular posts either; direct messages will also be partially revealed, though this does not apply to images. The website reports that these notifications aren’t consistent, seemingly stopping at random after a day for some of the staff.

Since there’s inconsistency, it’s impossible to say whether the problem is present across all users. But anyone holding a shared account should take heed if they’re wary about their personal information leaking. Instagram is reportedly working on a fix, but until the situation has been remedied, the notifications will still be showing to the wrong accounts.

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