Unfollow on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know

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Heidi Lang

Instagram Tips | Sep 29, 2022

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

There are many ways to customize and enhance your Instagram experience; the unfollow Instagram feature is one of them. The accounts you choose to follow determine the kinds of content that appear on your news feed. If your newsfeed becomes too “noisy” or cluttered with content that doesn’t interest you, unfollowing accounts is a good way to tidy up. 

Unfollow on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know

It may seem like a simple enough task, but there are certain rules that you must follow when unfollowing accounts. Aside from your content preference, are there other reasons that may warrant an unfollow? Are there circumstances when you shouldn’t unfollow a profile? Does unfollowing people on Instagram affect a brand’s metrics? Here’s everything you need to know about IG’s unfollow option. 

Unfollowing Rules to Follow on Instagram

There are two important rules to remember:

  1. Instagram imposes a daily limit on certain platform activities, including unfollowing and following accounts. 
  2. Instagram considers following and unfollowing as the same action. This means that the number of follows and unfollows per day is counted together. 

Take note, however, that Instagram is particularly vague when it comes to these rules. The platform does not actually specify what the official daily limits are. But collected evidence suggests that daily limits vary for different accounts depending on the age of the account, the number of followers, and engagement rate. 

The best estimates further suggest that up to 150 unfollows/follows a day are safe for accounts that are older than 3 months. Accounts 3 months and newer can unfollow/follow up to 100 profiles. To keep your account activities organic, 10 accounts per hour is the recommended limit when you want to follow and/or unfollow Instagram accounts.

The daily limits for follows and unfollows are put in place as a deterrent against abuse, spam, and/or automated activities. It’s a way to level the playing field for all users. Small businesses, for example, won’t be able to compete against big names if indiscriminate and unlimited follows are allowed. Those with financial resources can easily hire people to follow as many accounts as possible to make their presence known. Or they can develop or buy apps that automate activities on the platform. 

Instagram’s algorithm is able to detect if a certain activity, such as unfollowing, is occurring too many times in a very short period of time. Mass unfollows/follows are flagged as bot-like activity or spam. If your account is flagged for such activities, it may get temporarily suspended or permanently banned. 

Alternatives to Unfollowing Instagram Accounts

You can curate your news feed content and enhance your user experience through other means. Here are your options. 

Mute accounts

This will eliminate a user’s content from your feed while keeping them on your list of followed accounts. You’ll find the mute option when you click on the three dots located in the upper right corner of any of their posts. Should you change your mind later on, you can easily unmute them

Blocking an account

If it’s important for your emotional health and peace of mind, you can ensure that a user will have no means to find you and interact with you on Instagram by blocking them. You don’t have to tolerate harassment, spamming, or trolling from any Instagram user. If reporting them does not solve the problem, don’t hesitate to declare them “persona non grata,” on your account, at least. 

When you block an account, they won’t be able to find you on the platform. This means they won’t be able to follow your posts and communicate with you via comments or DMs. 

Be more selective

Before hitting the follow button, spend some time browsing through a user’s profile. Make sure you have shared interests and that their content will be of value to you. This way, you’ll avoid having to unfollow Instagram accounts later. 

Keep an eye out for fake accounts or ghost followers

Unfortunately, Instagram is also teeming with inactive or fake accounts. These accounts are typically used to fabricate another profile’s follower numbers and are actually bots. Bots are a big no-no on Instagram. Don’t feel obligated to reciprocate a new follow immediately. Again, do your research and verify that your new follower is a real person. 

Unfollow on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know

Can You Find Out if You’ve Been Unfollowed on Instagram?

There’s no quick way to find out if someone unfollowed you. Instagram does not notify users when they are unfollowed. If you’re really curious about who stopped following you, you’ll have to don your detective hat and investigate. 

If there’s a particular user you’re interested in, you can go directly to their profile and check their following list to look for your name. Another option is to check your list of followers. Type the user’s name in the search box. If you’re certain that they used to follow you but their name does not appear on your list of followers, then they unfollowed you. 

You might be tempted to use third-party tools, like Follower Analyzer, that claim to keep track of follows and unfollows. Instagram does not authorize such apps and using them could put your account at risk. Practice extreme caution before using unauthorized Instagram third-party apps. Most of these apps use bots and have been linked to privacy issues. Your simple curiosity about who unfollowed you could lead to more serious problems, including account suspension if you’re not careful.  

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a standard of quality for your news feed and the kinds of engagement you receive can make your Instagram experience more enjoyable. Especially these days when social media has become synonymous with a “toxic environment,” creating a place of comfort and value online is a step that you may want to take. 

You can unfollow Instagram accounts that don’t deliver any value to the time you spend on Instagram. You should definitely hit that unfollow button if a user is troublesome or abusive. Don’t feel bad if you simply want to limit your IG community to individuals who genuinely share your beliefs or interests.   

Unfollowing can be a valuable component of your account’s regular “quality maintenance.” If you’re looking to grow your account and also want to ensure that you’ll get genuine and quality followers, check out Path Social. Path Social offers organic growth that lasts through their proprietary AI targeting technology and in-house team of social media experts. Sign up for an account now and enjoy authentic growth!