How To See Who Someone Is Following on Instagram: IG Basics

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 14, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Every once in a while, you might find yourself curious about how to see who someone is following on Instagram. Maybe you’ve fallen into the black hole of celebrity drama, or perhaps you are looking for influencers associated with specific brands. It’s also a sneaky way to check on friends or partners to see if they’re following someone they shouldn’t be.

Regardless of why you want to do it, you can always lurk on Instagram and sift through someone’s following list. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do it step by step. Plus, we’re throwing in how-to’s on seeing imperative details about followers and following lists—both yours and those of others. Stick around and discover all of these and more!

A woman with furrowed brows curiously scrolling through her phone.

How To See Who Someone Is Following on Instagram: An Easy-To-Follow Guide

Is your curiosity about who someone follows on a social media platform pulling at your leg? Good news—it’s super easy to see anyone’s following list on Instagram. Here’s how to do it, step by step:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the home screen.

3. On the search bar up top, type the username of the person whose following list you want to see. Then, click on their profile.

4. You should see the number of people they follow at the top of their page. It’s in the same section as their profile picture, number of posts, and list of followers. Click on the number with the label “following” underneath.

5. This brings you to the list of users they’re following. You’ll also see any hashtags they follow at the top of the list.

Path Social’s screenshot of the instructions to go from someone’s profile to their following list.

When you look at the list of people someone follows on Instagram, you’ll realize it’s arranged in a specific way. But it’s not chronological, no. The first names you’ll see are those who are connected to you as well. These include mutual followers and people you follow, too, if any. Then, these people are also ranked according to relevance to you, aka how often you interact with them. This arrangement makes it easier to see who you know in someone’s following list.

As per the social media platform’s rules for following, there are a maximum of 7,500 people on anyone’s following list. According to Instagram, this limit was designed to reduce spam on the app.

How To See Order of Following on Instagram

Do you want to see someone’s recent followers on Instagram? Unfortunately, that’s private info that isn’t publicly available. You’ll be able to see who someone is following but not the order in which they did so.

However, you can see the order of the people you’ve followed on the platform. Here’s how to see the order of following on Instagram for your profile. Here’s how:

1. On the Instagram app, go to your profile.

2. Click the number of people you follow at the top of the page to pull up your following list.

3. At the top of the list, click the icon with two arrows. Then, sort it according to chronological order. You can choose between two options: Latest and Earliest.

Pinning Down the Date of When Who Followed Who: 3 Key Situations

Are you trying to recall when you followed someone on Instagram or when they followed you back? With these tips, you can track down who has been following whom for a long time, making it easier to remember a “follow” anniversary.

1. How To See When You Followed Someone on Instagram

The only accurate method for how to see when you followed someone on Instagram is downloading your activity data. It’s one of the key features available for pinning down exactly when who followed who. Here’s how to request that data:

1. On your profile, click on the hamburger menu to open the settings page.

2. Click Your activity.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s settings menu with a red box highlighting “Your activity.”

3. Scroll toward the bottom and click Download your information.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s “Your activity” menu with a red box highlighting “Download your information.”

4. In the Meta Accounts Center, click Download or transfer information.

5. Select which accounts you want to download activity info from. Then, tap Next.

6. Choose between extracting all your information or just parts of it. We recommend downloading only the data you need for a faster processing time.

Path Social’s screenshot of a prompt when downloading Instagram data with a red box highlighting “Some of your information.”

7. On the next page, scroll to the “Connections” section and tick the box that says “Followers and following.” Then, click Next.

Path Social’s screenshot of the types of Instagram data you can follow, with a tick on the “Followers and following” option.

8. Make sure “Download to device” is selected. Then, click Next.

9. Double-check your contact details, then hit Create files.

When your file is ready, download it. It’ll show you the exact date and time you followed every user you follow.

Another way to see how long you’ve been following someone is through a feed post they’ve made.

1. Scroll through your feed until you come across a post they’ve uploaded.

2. Click the three dots on the top-right corner.

3. Click Why you’re seeing this post. On the next pop-up, you’ll see an estimate of how long you’ve been following them.

Path Social’s screenshot of how to see how long you’ve been following someone from their Instagram feed post.

Lastly, you can also look at what year you followed someone through your direct messages with them.

1. From their profile, hit Message to go to your chat with them.

2. Scroll to the top of your chat.

3. There, you’ll see details about their profile with the note, “You’ve been following this account since [month or year].”

Path Social’s screenshot of how to see when you first followed someone by scrolling to the top of your direct messages.

2. How To See When Someone Followed You on Instagram

Are you wondering how to see when someone followed you on Instagram? Currently, there are no other accurate ways to see the exact date someone followed you aside from downloading activity data. It’s still the best, most effective way to find out for sure when someone follows you. Refer to the methods above for that.

However, there are some tricks that give you an idea of when someone followed you without using Instagram’s advanced features.

For example, you can check your list of followers on your profile. This list is automatically arranged in chronological order. Look for the username of the person you’re looking for on that list. How far down the list that person’s name is might give you an idea of when they followed you.

Another trick is to scroll to the top of your DMs with them to see when you first started talking. The date of the first message can be helpful in pinpointing when they started following you. It means they for sure followed you before the date of your first message.

And we know these methods are far from perfect. But desperate times sometimes call for finding crumbs like these. They can at least shed some light on when someone followed your page.

3. How To See When Someone Followed Someone on Instagram

There are plenty of methods available to check when you follow someone and vice versa. But how to see when someone followed someone on Instagram outside of yourself is where it gets tricky.

Unfortunately, there are currently no ways to see when someone other than yourself followed another user and vice versa. Because these pieces of info have nothing to do with your account, they’re considered private and not publicly available.

If you must know this information, use third-party apps that claim to give data on other users’ follower activity. There are plenty of them available on the internet. Make sure you use a reputable one and not a service that is only out to steal your login credentials. Note that most third-party apps can only provide information on when and who followed whom if they are public accounts. So, it does not apply to private accounts.

How To See Someone’s Followers on Instagram

It’s not just who someone is following that people get curious about. Sometimes, they’re just as curious about finding out who that person’s followers are. Do you want to see which accounts are following your favorite celebs, brands, and even just friends and family? Here’s how to see someone’s followers on Instagram:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Look for the profile of the person whose followers you want to see through the search bar.

3. On their profile, click the number of followers they have at the top of the page. This will lead you to their list of followers.

The follower list of someone will arrange the users according to relevance, just like the list of people they follow.  Mutual followers and people you interact with a lot, if any, will come up at the top of the list. People you don’t follow and have no mutual with will end up at the bottom.

How Can I See Private Account Followers?

Do you want to know the follower activity of someone who’s locked up their account to make it unavailable to strangers? You might be wondering, “How can I see private account followers?”

Well, you may be dismayed to learn that there’s no way to see someone’s followers if they’re in private mode. It follows the same logic as the fact that you can’t view private accounts and their content. These users have chosen to protect their privacy on the platform. This choice allows them to protect their follower list as well.

The only way you can see a private account’s list of followers is if you follow that page. To do that, you need to send a follow request and wait for that user to approve it. Once they do, follow the steps in the previous section to see their followers. Just remember to respect someone’s decision if they choose not to accept your follow request.

How To See Follow Requests on Instagram To Approve or Deny Them

But what if the roles were reversed, and it was you with a private account? How do you approve requests and allow people into your private online life? Here’s how to see follow requests on Instagram and decide which to approve or deny:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Click the heart icon at the top-right corner of your home screen, next to the inbox icon. This leads you to the notifications tab.

3. At the top of the notifications page, click Follow requests.

4. On the next page, you’ll see all the users who have sent you requests. Click Confirm on those you want to approve and Delete on those you wish to deny.

5. To confirm or delete requests in bulk, click Manage at the top-right of the page. Then, select all the users’ requests you want to confirm or delete to do it all at once.

Be sure to carefully review every user’s account before approving their follower request! Only confirm requests from people you trust to see your private Instagram page.

Don’t Get Stuck on Other People’s Followers—Gain Your Own, Too!

It’s fun exploring the lists of other people and learning how long ago you followed certain pages. But don’t get caught up in these just because you know how to see who someone is following on Instagram. Remember to focus on making high-quality, engaging content to reel in more of your followers, too.

Path Social can help you out with that. We take the content you work hard on and push it out to your target audience. That way, you can rest assured your posts reach the right people. This efficiency boosts visibility and engagement for your page, leading to an increase in genuine followers interested in your content. Work with our AI-powered algorithms today and gain a bigger follower base on Instagram!