Unfortunately, it is not possible to use Instagram without an account. At least not directly.
There is never a dumb question. Unfortunately, sometimes there are disappointing answers. This is unfortunately the case here: it is not possible to go to Instagram without an account. More precisely, you can always go there, but you will not be able to see the photos of this or that profile, even if it is public. As in the case of Numerama.
It was possible in the past.
It is impossible to watch Instagram without an account
Unfortunately, Instagram changed its approach in the spring of 2020, implementing a redirect that redirects all Internet users who are not identified on the login page. Thus, going to the Numerama profile anonymously will send you back to the login section, with a URL like this: https://www.instagram.com/accounts/login/?next=/numerama/.
This ban on visiting the platform anonymously applies both to Internet users using a computer via the web browser and to those using their mobile. And in the case of the mobile application? It’s a bit irrelevant: its use is based on the fact of having a profile. It was not thought otherwise.
Of course, every rule has its exception. It is true that the platform prevents from seeing the photos of Internet users without an account. But there are ways to bypass this limit. However, they require relying on third-party sites. You can find all kinds of them on the web, with a query like “Instagram viewer”.
This approach is a decent workaround, but it has its limitations: you obviously won’t be able to access all of the tools and settings found in Instagram. However, this still gives access to public photos, stories (if you access them when they are available), etc. Formatting may vary from one third-party service to another.
Another limit, but this time concerns Instagram as well as other sites: obviously, private accounts are excluded from this kind of sleight of hand. Only profiles that are previously approved by the private account holder can see their photos, stories and other reals. What is necessary here to have an Instagram account and to be connected. Logic.