Instagram Follow Limit: Is There a Way Around It?

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 31, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

There are more people on Instagram than anyone can fathom. In fact, according to Statista, the app logged over two billion active users every single month as of January 2023. But as much as you might want to see what everyone is up to on the platform, it’s not possible. Why? Because of the infamous Instagram follow limit, the app sets for every user.

Yes, you heard that right. Whether people like it or not, Instagram sets a limit on how many people you can follow on the app. You can’t just go trigger-happy and hit the follow button on every interesting account you come across. Instagram encourages its users to be more discerning than that and follow up with a certain number of users only.

But what’s the reasoning behind this rule, and are there any other limits on the platform you don’t know about? Keep scrolling to learn all this and more.

A young lady yearning and looking outside as a barred gate holds her back.

Is There a Follow Limit on Instagram? If So, How Many People Can You Follow?

There are many reasons why someone would want to follow as many people as possible. Maybe they’re part of many huge organizations and want to follow their stakeholders on all social media platforms, including Instagram. Or maybe they have a goal of following every influencer, celebrity and public figure known to man. Or perhaps they’re simply interested in discovering as much new, beautiful content on the platform as possible.

But as they say, too much of anything is too much. Instagram doesn’t want its users to follow too many people, thus the follow limit.

Some of you may be baffled, asking, “Is there a follow limit on Instagram? How come I’ve never known it?”  There definitely is a hard limit to how many people you can follow on the platform.

Today, Instagram limits each user to following a maximum of 7,500 other users on their account. Instagram states that anyone following more than this had done so before the rule was established. But if you try to follow over 7,500 accounts today, you’ll get an error message saying the action isn’t possible.

Instagram set this follow limit to maintain a balance on the platform. It’s the sweet spot between getting as much content as you want and keeping spam and bots at bay. It’s an excellent way to keep suspicious activity and inauthentic behavior away, too—but we’ll get into that more later.

That said, people can have unlimited followers. It’s only the following count that has a hard limit. And yes, it applies to every single Instagram user, even verified celebrities and macro-influencers. Even Selena Gomez, who has over 400 million followers, can only follow up to 7,500 other people.

What About an Instagram Follow Limit per Day? Does That Exist?

The 7,500 follow maximum is a lifetime limit. But is there also an Instagram follow limit per day? Yes, there are indeed daily limits as to how many accounts you can follow each day.

You can only follow and unfollow a cumulative total of 200 accounts per day. That means you can follow 200 people or unfollow 200 people per day. Or you could follow 150 users and unfollow 50 accounts in one day. Basically, you can only add or subtract from your following list up to 200 times every single day.

Rumor has it that when you’re new to Instagram, these daily limits are even lower. That’s because Instagram keeps a closer eye on your actions as a new account to check if you’re a bot. So, if you have a new account, stick to following and unfollowing about 40-50 accounts per day. That way, you can avoid being flagged as a spam account.

But what happens if you follow and unfollow over 200 accounts per day? You might get an error message stating, “We limit how often you can do certain things on Instagram.”

When you get this message, it means the algorithm has likely flagged you for overactive and suspicious activity. You’ll need to try following and unfollowing people again another day.

Thankfully, these lifetime and daily limits are the only ones you need to consider. There are no post limits on the app. You don’t need to pressure yourself to publish just a single post or two per day. For Instagram posts, you can pretty much post as many as you want each day!

The Benefits of the Strict Instagram Following Limit

The Instagram following limit is something the app sets to keep the platform safe for everyone. But what are these safety benefits the community gets from the follow limits? Let’s take a look at each one.

It Reduces Spammy Behavior on the Platform

Some people will do anything to get more followers on the platform as fast as possible. Sometimes, this could mean spamming someone’s comments and DMs to catch their attention and entice them to follow you back.

Without a follow limit on Instagram, people can follow as many accounts as possible and pester them with spammy behavior. They can leave unsolicited DMs and inauthentic comments on strangers’ pages. This takes away the authentic Instagram experience of connecting with people who matter.

Someone posting spammy comments on someone’s Instagram post.

It Decreases the Work of Bots and Automation Tools

There is an ongoing battle on Instagram that has to do with bots. Malicious users create dozens of fake spam bot accounts to like and follow thousands of accounts at a time. Services that sell likes and follows use these bots to automate Instagram growth.

Some bots are designed to automatically leave likes, comments and even direct messages on people’s pages. These bots usually promote scams and promotional content.

All these can be incredibly annoying, disruptive and downright unsafe for users in the community. The follow limit helps hinder these bots from causing issues to a certain degree.

A white bot looking up at the camera.

It Keeps Everyone’s Feed More Meaningful, Engaging and High-Quality

A set limit forces people to be more mindful of their Instagram follows. For some, this can feel like a ball and chain. But if you think about it, the limit helps streamline your feed so that you only see meaningful, interesting content.

This reduces information overload and overexposure to brands and accounts that don’t really matter to you. Because of this, you can spend your time wisely on the app, engaging with content you actually enjoy.

How To Turn Off Follow Limit on Instagram: Are There Ways Around the Rule?

Wondering how to turn off the follow limit on Instagram? You’re not the only one. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to turn off this limit. Instagram implements the limit to keep the platform safe and deter automation, so it’s a must that everyone follows it.

If you come across third-party websites that claim to turn off this limit for your account, don’t trust them. It’s pretty much impossible to bypass the follow limit. So, websites and apps that claim they can do it for you are likely a scam. Don’t entertain them or give them your financial details and Instagram credentials, or else your account may get compromised.

Plus, using third-party apps for inauthentic activity like this is in direct violation of Instagram’s community guidelines. If the app flags you for suspicious activity, you could be shadowbanned. When you’re on an Instagram shadowban, your content becomes deprioritized on the feed. This can lead to a lower reach and engagement rate on posts you work hard on.

A neon sign showing zero likes on an Instagram post, which is a common occurrence when you’ve been shadowbanned.

Tips on How To Find High-Quality Accounts To Follow on Instagram

So, you need to be more discerning about who you follow on Instagram. Don’t waste your follows on accounts with content you don’t even like. Reserve the 7,500 slots for the pages that deserve it.

But how do you pick and choose which accounts are worth a follow? Here are some of our tips for finding high-quality Instagram accounts so you don’t breach the limit.

Follow Hashtags That Align With Your Interests

Hashtags allow you to sift through hundreds of posts that fall under a specific topic. Following hashtags on Instagram is a great way to see content on topics you love without following too many accounts. There are hashtags for hobbies and interests such as books, travel, fashion, food, beauty, photography and many more.

For example, if you love books, you should consider following the hashtag #bookstagram. It’s much better than following dozens of book influencers for your book content fix.

Lurk in the Instagram Explore Page

The Instagram Explore page is designed to curate trending content personalized to your taste and interests. The algorithm analyzes the content you like and engage with. Then, it picks out the posts to serve you on the Explore page.

So, if you lurk on the Explore page, you’re bound to find high-quality accounts that are interesting to you. Give these pages a follow if you want to see more of their content!

Find Reputable, Influential Publication Accounts

Some people love following news and media outlets on Instagram to stay on top of current events. But instead of following hundreds of publications, streamline your following list to reputable and trustworthy accounts. That way, you don’t end up following too many accounts that say the same thing or share fake news.

Look for other signs of social proof and credibility, such as the blue “Verified” badge or a high follower count.

A man reading up on the news on Instagram on his phone while drinking coffee.

Look Through Instagram’s Suggested Users To Follow

You can also look at Instagram’s suggested users to find high-quality accounts you might want to follow. This feature is especially helpful for new accounts that don’t know who to follow in their real-life circle.

Instagram often suggests users you might know in real life through the people you interact with on the platform. These users could also be prominent figures in the topics you’re interested in. Like the Explore page, everyone has their own set of suggested users to follow.

Keeping It Private: How To Limit Who Can See Your Followers on Instagram

We’ve already covered everything about follow limits. But are you wondering how to limit who can see your followers on Instagram?

There’s currently no universal feature that allows everyone to hide their followers. Perhaps it’s a feature that Instagram will roll out in the future.

But don’t worry. If you want to keep your follower list under wraps from strangers, there’s one way to do it—going private. When your profile is in private mode, no one will see your followers unless they follow you. That means you can protect your follower list from random Instagram stalkers and lurkers on the web.

If you’re an influencer and can’t afford to set your profile to private, there’s another way. You can keep specific people from seeing who follows you by straight-up blocking them.

Stop Stressing About Who To Follow and Focus on Your Follower Count

It may seem strange for a popular social media platform like Instagram to set limits on who you can follow. But these fixed and binding rules have the entire community’s interests at heart.

The follow limit allows people to have the best, most high-quality experience on the app. It reduces spammy bot behavior and allows you to see content you’ll actually enjoy and engage with. So, we recommend being extra discerning about who you choose to follow on Instagram. Follow friends, hashtags and influencers you know will show you content you will love.

But Instagram isn’t all about who you follow. It’s also about growing your community on the platform as well. So, don’t spend all your time stressing about the Instagram follow limit, and start strategizing how to gain followers yourself. We at Path Social can help with that.

Our proprietary, AI-powered algorithm helps hunt down your niche target audience. Then, we’ll serve your content to their feeds to get you more likes, comments and shares. That way, you get not just a boost in your engagement rate but also an uptick in your following. Soon, you’ll have a huge, sizeable following to kick off your career as a brand. Work with us and start gaining more followers today!