Most of us have days when we’re scrolling through Instagram News Feed, and we realize something: We’re just not interested in the majority of the people that we follow. So we decide to have a little clean-up of our followers list.
If you’ve ever done this, you may have found that you’ve hit a limit on how many people you can unfollow. You may even have found that your account has been suspended.
But try not to panic! Unless you’ve done this multiple times, you’re unlikely to be banned permanently and can appeal to Instagram to return your account to you.
We’re going to take you through how many accounts you can unfollow on Instagram without hitting the limit, why Instagram has set a limit, and possible alternatives to avoid hitting this limit.
When setting its limits, Instagram regards following and unfollowing as the same action. So if you’ve followed a lot of people recently and hit your limit, you’ll also have hit your limit on how many people you can unfollow.
Why Is There a Limit to How Many Accounts You Can Unfollow?
This may seem like a strange thing for Instagram to limit you on, but there is actually a good reason for this. Spam/Bot accounts often follow or unfollow a large number of accounts within a short space of time.
Therefore, whenever you do the same, it gets flagged as a potential bot or spam activity. This may get your limit hit, meaning you can’t follow or unfollow anyone else for a while (anywhere between an hour and a day). Or, it can also result in your account being suspended.
What Is the Limit?
It seems that Instagram has been rather secretive about exactly just how many accounts you can unfollow at once, probably to stop bot accounts from being able to keep themselves just below the limit.
Saying that, I’ve seen varying numbers thrown around. Here are the limits that I’ve seen to be most widely accepted as accurate:
- Accounts that have been opened less than 3 months can follow/unfollow 100 profiles per day
- Older accounts can unfollow/follow around 150 accounts per day
I’ve also seen people stating that there’s a limit of 60 per hour. Whether all of these numbers are accurate, or just the hourly, or just the daily, is hard to tell. However, if you keep these numbers in mind when following/unfollowing in bulk, you should be safe from getting flagged by Instagram.
What Else Can Be Done Other Than Unfollowing?
If you find that you can’t wait to unfollow people in chunks and want to do it right away, there are other options. Open the chat of the person you wish to unfollow and then click their name, and you’ll see a list of actions you can take.
Or you can just open the profile of the person you want to unfollow and click on the three dots on top of the right corner.
Now you should see the same options, but they might be in a different order.
You’ll see the Restrict option. This means Instagram will limit how much of their activity you’ll see, send their messages to message requests instead, and let you decide if all of your other followers can see what they comment on your posts.
You can also see the Block option. If you block someone, this will mean that they can no longer message you or find your profile, but if you think this is unlikely to be an issue (or you simply don’t care if it is), you could always take this alternative.
How Do I Avoid This Situation in the First Place?
Our first bit of advice would be to be more selective in who you follow. Think twice about whether you really want to see that person’s activity before hitting the follow button.
If you realize that you’re not interested in their content after you’ve followed them, unfollow them sooner rather than later. By putting it off, you may find yourself with a backlog of people you need to unfollow, which can run the risk of hitting that limit.
Instead, unfollow them as soon as you realize you don’t want to follow them any longer.
Finally, be more critical of who follows you. You aren’t obliged to follow back anyone who follows you! It’s also worth double-checking that the person who followed you is a legitimate account, and not a bot.
If you have found that you’ve hit your limit on unfollowing people, don’t despair! As we’ve seen, there are ways around it. To cover that article:
- Instagram limits you to a certain number follows/unfollows, although the exact number isn’t 100% clear.
- If you go over the limit, Instagram could flag this as bot activity and suspend your account.
- Instagram buckets follows and unfollows under the same limit.
- If you think you’re near the limit, you can block or restrict people instead.
- Consider if you actually want to see someone’s content before you follow them.
- Unfollow as you go – don’t leave it until there’s a large pool of people you want to unfollow.
- You don’t have to follow back!