An App That Allows You To Spy On People’s Instagram… Sort of.

Want To Spy On Your Instagram Followers Locations?

This App allows you to track your instagram followers’ locations and use that data to identify their habits. I know, cause I used it once on a case I was working. It helped me track someone that I needed to get surveillance video and information on.

This app uses followers’ geotagged posts and stories to draw a detailed map of places visited by anyone that has an Instagram account. The app is called “Who’s In Town” and can be installed on an iPhone or Android device.

Who’s in Town is designed to show you where your friends and followers might be, at the moment, but it really does much more than that. Once the app is downloaded and you give it permission to access your Instagram account, you will see an interactive map with every place, that the people you follow have been and shared, since the creation of their Instagram account profile.

I know you’re saying to yourself:  “But, this information has always been available as long as they’ve shared it.” And you’d be correct, however, Who’s in Town aggregates ALL data points into comprehensive chronology history of a user’s frequented places. The app also updates in real time, so it’s entirely possible for someone to know where a user is, at any given moment, as long as the user is posting geotagged data as they mosey about their day.

The app can tell what restaurants, coffee shops, and bars your “friends” frequent, when they were last there, and paint a nearly perfect picture of their daily lives that would not be as obvious by just looking at their individual posts or perusing their most recent stories. BTW, stories are archived and reach back for long periods of time.

So, with the case I mentioned, at the beginning of this write up, the person of interest’s Instagram account was private. I sent them a follow request and they, in turn followed me back. It was a shot in the dark, but hey it worked. They trusted my Instatgram account because we had a lot of mutual connections (hint, hint). This person geotagged nearly every single post and story clip. BINGO! I was in business, because in this particular situation, I did not have a permissible purpose to place a GPS tracker. Yeah, I could glean where they went and sometimes when they went there by just studying the pictures, but why not let Who’s in Town do the heavy lifting? I needed to know where this person worked and when they got off, so that I could follow them on specific days. I also needed to know when they weren’t going to be home, so I could place a camera across the street and know when to access it without getting caught.

The app worked perfectly and was huge help for my case. I learned what coffee shop, restaurants, bars, and gym they frequented. I even figured out that they mowed a person’s yard every single Saturday, unless it rained. And if it did happen to rain on Saturday, I knew I could find them at a particular pool hall. I learned who they hung out with most frequently and even on certain nights. I could almost set my watch by how consistent this target was.

The app’s creator, Erick Barto, said:  “The amount of data is insane.” “It’s the equivalent of you going through every single story and writing down every single location, just consistently all the time.” He also said that the application discovered that 30 percent of people, posting to their stories over the weekend, geotagged a minimum of one location.

From a privacy standpoint, this raises obvious concerns… Aggregating data of someone’s daily routine could provide bad actors with data that can aid them in stalking or harassment or even theft because they’ll know when the person isn’t home or out of town and perhaps for how long. The app can reveal social connections and relationships by showing similarities across posts and stories. It can uncover hidden habits and people (like your boss for example) could infer certain things about a person and their regular activities.

The application does not do anything illegal or particularly difficult, but it does streamline a process that can be used by the good guys or the bad guys.

Once installed, the app pulls post information for the individuals you follow going back to the beginning of every person you follow account, and the geotags from stories posted that day. Since Instagram stories (and any geotags contained inside them) vanish following 24 hours, the older expired stories won’t be shown on the guide; notwithstanding, the more you have the application introduced, the more comprehensive the guide gets, as it gobbles up information from each newly created geotagged Instagram story shared by your connections.

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The application has two distinct modes—general and single client. General mode shows you a diagram of each location of every follower with the places that they said they have been and when they said they were there, and links to those posts and or story where they show that. For people who follow many individuals, it’s an ocean of pins. Single-client mode permits you to follow a particular individual. Different pins blur away, leaving just one individual’s shared area history, which if they’re a substantial Instagram poster, it can uncover a shocking measure of data about their flow area and every day propensities. Who’s In Town can pull information from private Instagram accounts too. But only if the person that is using the app is a follower of the person whom has their profile set to private. It is not possible for Instagram account users to figure out if one of their friends is utilizing the app to gather and compile all their information, as it works outside of Instagram’s domain and just requires the one user’s consent to do what it does best.

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