Instagram Follower Count: What’s a Good Number?

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Heidi Lang

Instagram Growth | Nov 29, 2022

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

For many private accounts and for all business accounts on Instagram, one of the key success metrics to keep an eye on is the Instagram follower count. How many followers are enough? How do you know if your numbers are too low? What does your IG followers count say about a business? Should you obsess over your number of followers? Let us count the ways in which to look at this fundamental Instagram element.

Instagram Insights displayed on phone screen.

How Does Instagram Count Followers?

There’s no official information on how Instagram counts followers. However, it’s safe enough to figure it out by checking and comparing the follower numbers of various Instagram accounts. After an Instagram account reaches a certain number, 10,000 to be exact, Instagram rounds it down to the nearest hundred. So if an account’s exact follower count is 30,775, the number that shows up on their profile is 30.7k.

Instagram profile showing rounded off Instagram follower count.

You’ll also see the same rounded-down number if you’re logged in and looking at your own profile (given, of course, that you have over 10k followers). If the Instagram follower count is in the hundreds of thousands, Instagram rounds off to the nearest thousand. If the account has more than 1 million followers, the number is rounded down to the nearest hundred thousand. So the higher the number of followers, the higher the discrepancy between the exact count and the rounded-off total. 

How to Check Instagram Follower Count and Live Instagram Follower Count

Accounts with fewer than 10k followers have their accurate follower count displayed. If you want to know how to check your own Instagram follow counter and live Instagram followers, you need to have a Creator or Business account on the platform. Take note that you can only do this using the app. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your profile and to the right of your Instagram username, tap the three-bar menu in the upper right corner.
  2. Find “Insights” and tap the icon to launch it.
  3. You’ll see your exact Instagram follower count in the Insights main tab labeled “Overview.”

Screenshot of Instagram Insights showing exact Instagram follower count.

If you’re curious about another account’s exact number of followers, you have to access Instagram via a browser and perform the following steps:

  1. Launch Instagram via a desktop browser and go to the account’s profile page. 
  2. Right-click anywhere on the page and select “View page source,” which is the second to the last option in the pop-up.
  3. The page source will open in another tab; type Ctrl + F to launch the search box.
  4. Copy and paste this text in the search box: edge_followed_by
  5. The text will be highlighted in yellow and typically followed by {“count”: XXX}, where “XXX” is the exact Instagram follower count.

Screenshot of page source showing exact number of Instagram followers.

Instagram’s follower count checker may not always be accurately updated in real time as a live Instagram counter for any number of reasons. But if you want to find out your real-time Instagram follower count or your IG followers history, you can check out these popular follower count/tracker apps:

  1. Hootsuite
  2. Iconosquare
  3. Crowdfire
  4. Follower Analyzer
  5. FollowMeter

Instagram Follower Count History

You can view your Instagram follower count history in the Audience section of Instagram Insights. This section also shows you demographic data about your real-time Instagram followers.

You can find out how many follows and unfollows you got over the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days. Take note that you can only do this with your own account. By analyzing your IG followers’ history, you may be able to identify a trend that could tell you how well your account is performing. You’ll learn what could have caused spikes in your follows/unfollows and other valuable insights about your target audience’s behaviors.

How to Hide Follower Count on Instagram: Can It Be Done?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to hide your follower Instagram counter — this is true for both private and public accounts. Instead, users can opt to hide like counts for specific posts from others and/or from themselves. They can also opt-out of seeing like counts on all posts on their feed. Instagram implemented this update early in 2021 as an attempt to lessen pressure and anxiety about post performance.

How to Sort Instagram Followers by Follower Count

There are a number of ways to sort your IG followers when you view them via your Insights. You can categorize your follower data according to gender, age range, top locations, and online times. But if you’re wondering about how to sort Instagram followers by follower count, you can try these options:

  1. Use a third-party app, specifically an Instagram scraping tool that gathers publicly available data — such as Insta followers count. The data can be exported as a CSV file and you can organize it as you wish.
  2. Collect the data manually and input it into a spreadsheet. You can then use the spreadsheet’s sorting tool. 

Woman drinking coffee while checking their sorted Instagram follower numbers on her laptop.

How Important are Follower Numbers on Instagram?

Follower numbers are often used to measure an account’s success on Instagram. Hypothetically, the higher the follower numbers, the more popular the account is. Instagram’s algorithm also uses an account’s follower count to calculate its growth rate and engagement rate and determine its relevance score, among others.

But there’s more to Instagram success than a high Instagram follower count. Keep in mind that some accounts may have their numbers boosted with fake followers and/or paid followers. For businesses, a high number of followers doesn’t always equate to high conversion/sales numbers.

Increasing your Instagram follower count consistently and organically is key to Instagram growth. But you should also have a corresponding increase in views, engagement, clicks, and other metrics to get a true measure of your performance on the platform.

How to Increase Follower Count on Instagram

Increasing your follower count on Instagram organically is always the best way to go. Here are tried and tested growth strategies that can help you get the numbers you’re looking for.

  • Know your target audience so you can create the appropriate content strategy.
  • Make use of Instagram Insights to keep track of your numbers and to make changes in your targeting and content strategies wherever necessary.
  • Take advantage of relevant hashtags and location tagging to increase your brand’s discoverability.
  • Find out the best times to post on Instagram for your niche/industry and target audience.
  • Learn as much as you can about Instagram ads optimization.
  • Collaborate with other brands and influencers to tap into their respective follower base.

Final Thoughts: How to Win the Instagram Follower Numbers Game

You have to keep an eye on your Instagram follower count and the follower numbers of your competition to know where you are exactly on your Instagram growth journey at any point in time. Your follower numbers will tell you if you’re getting closer to your goals. You’ll also learn if your business strategies on the platform are working and how you measure up against similar brands.

But learning how to get real Instagram followers is just one part of a complicated equation. Know which metrics are most relevant to your goals. Use all the resources available to you to analyze your data and derive from them the information you need to build a strong presence on the platform. If you need help driving the right people to your account and gaining quality followers, you should consider teaming up with a reliable growth service, such as Path Social. Take advantage of Path Social’s proprietary AI targeting algorithm and in-house team of experts and start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!