Are you planning on unfollowing a large number of people on Instagram, and are wondering what Instagram’s limits are?
The truth is, Instagram won’t allow you to unfollow thousands of people at once. However, the limits do vary depending on a few factors.
Thankfully, it’s easy to find out your own personal Instagram unfollow limits, and avoid hitting them.
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!
What Are Instagram’s Unfollow Limits?
Currently, Instagram has separate follow limits for new accounts (under 3 months of age), and established accounts that are older than 3 months of age.
If your account is new, you are limited to unfollowing roughly 100 accounts per day.
If your account has an established history, you are limited to unfollowing roughly 200 accounts per day.
Note that these are only rough estimates, rather than hard guidelines. The exact number of accounts that Instagram will let you follow can vary between individual accounts, but they roughly fall in line with these numbers.
If you plan on unfollowing people regularly – especially if you also frequently follow new accounts, you will want to ensure you remain well under these limitations to avoid triggering an Instagram shadowban.
Note: Regularly unfollowing inactive accounts is fine. This concern is more for people that unfollow a mass number of accounts at once.
Is There Any Way To Bypass These Limits?
Unfortunately, there aren’t any way to bypass the unfollow limits imposed by Instagram.
However, you’ll find that these naturally increase over time as you continue to use Instagram in a normal and human-like manner. Note that limits are based per 24 hours, not per calendar day.
In truth, the unfollow limits aren’t really put in place to prevent unfollows necessarily. Rather, they’re more of a tool to knock down on spam and another annoying behavior that disrupts the Instagram experience for normal users.
Let me explain.
Why Does Instagram Limit The Amount Of People You Can Unfollow?
Essentially, Instagram wants to cut down on notification and ‘follow / unfollow’ abuse.
Mass following and unfollowing is used by marketers and spammers who attempt to artificially grow their Instagram accounts.
The premise is that they will follow hundreds of people at once, and then unfollow everybody that doesn’t follow back – or even everyone that does.
If they can follow 1,000 accounts and even 10% follow back, that’s 100 new followers. Repeat this process every day, and it’s clear that they’d be able to grow an Instagram account quite quickly.
Of course, this causes two problems.
The first is that it would cause thousands of people to receive notifications for new followers, that don’t actually care about what they have to share. These people will of course unfollow them days later.
Secondly, it hurts the integrity of the platform. If somebody can cheat their way to tens of thousands of followers, how do you know who is actually influential and who isn’t?
This is the same reason why buying fake Instagram followers is also forbidden.
How To Avoid Being Blocked For Mass Unfollowing
If you need to unfollow hundreds or even thousands of people, don’t worry.
Instagram knows that this will happen from time to time. That being said, you still need to keep a strategy in mind so their algorithm doesn’t accidentally mistake you for a spammer.
Therefore, we recommend following these guidelines to avoid being banned, blocked from unfollowing, or shadowbanned.
1. Avoid Unfollowing In Any Sort Of Pattern
This one is one of the big ones.
Instagram has extremely advanced systems in place to detect what is natural human behavior, and what behavior may be done by a bot or automated software.
One of the big things that they look for is patterns.
For example, if you unfollow exactly 50 people every hour, this can be seen as suspicious.
So, you should avoid following the same number of people each time, at the same time of day, or continuously following until you hit your limit
2. Unfollow Manually In The Instagram App
If possible, we recommend doing all of your unfollowing directly from the Instagram app.
This means that you do not use social media software or automated tools / bots to perform any of the unfollowing.
Instagram’s bot detection in this day and age is very strong, and your account may get banned even if you are using the software for legitimate purposes, and you aren’t engaging in any sort of spammy behavior.
Therefore, unfollowing using the Instagram mobile app is the safest option, as this is how most people browse and interact on Instagram.
Meta (the company that owns Instagram) is also aware that it is far harder to use bots on mobile phones than it is on computers. Therefore, we recommend unfollowing on the mobile app if possible, even if you regularly browse Instagram using your PC.
3. Continue Posting As Normal
When unfollowing lots of people – especially if you are approaching the daily unfollow limits, Instagram’s automated system wants to make sure that you’re a real account.
So, one of the things that can help prove you’re an actual Instagram user (and not a bot) is to continue posting your own, original photos as normal.
Avoid reposting other people’s photos (or even photos from the internet) if possible, as this is common bot behavior.
4. Don’t Engage In ‘Follow-For-Follow’ Activities
If you want to avoid getting in trouble by Instagram, then you should avoid doing anything that violates their guidelines.
Follow-for-follow or ‘follow / unfollow’ activities can be seen as manipulative and spammy behavior, and is something that Instagram specifically looks out for.
Therefore, you are far more likely to get in trouble when hitting Instagram’s unfollow limits if you are engaging in this sort of behavior.
Follow / unfollow generates very low quality Instagram followers anyway, that will rarely engage with your content. In today’s highly algorithmic feeds, this can actually hurt you more than it helps you.
If Instagram shows your posts to certain followers and they don’t engage, then Instagram will assume it’s a low quality post. This can prevent your other, real followers from ever seeing it in the first place.
5. Continue Browsing And Using Instagram As Normal
Even if you don’t intend to post any photos, it’s still a good idea to continue browsing Instagram as you normally would during your periods of mass unfollowing.
The truth is, Instagram collects data on just about everything you do on the platform.
They specifically tailor your feed to keep attention, and track exactly how long you look at each post. They pay close attention to what your interest are, which posts you engage with, and how it compares to your past behavior on the platform.
So, they have a pretty good idea on when it’s you that’s browsing your account, or when it’s software pretending to.
By continuing to use Instagram as normal, you signal to Instagram that you are in fact a real person.
Tip: If you are going to use software to automatically unfollow people, most of them recommend turning the software off before browsing. Using Instagram while automated software is running can make it stand out even more, so this is seen as risky.
The exact number of people you can unfollow on Instagram varies from account to account.
However, Instagram accounts with a long history of legitimate behavior tend to have higher limits than brand new accounts who have yet to prove themselves.
I hope that you have found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about Instagram, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister