Instagram Growth Hacking

Instagram follow & unfollow limit, algorithm updates in 2023

Are you that keyboard warrior that keeps on following lots of people on Instagram? Or did you come to a point that you have to unfollow someone on Instagram? Is this scenario allowed? How often or how much following or unfollowing activities are allowed?

Well like other platforms, Instagram has restrictions.  To protect its community, Instagram has established some rules regarding different activities on the platform.

As an Instagram user, you should be aware of Instagram’s rules and restrictions to get high engagement and avoid getting banned. Being familiar with rules, restrictions, limits, and policies can help you understand better the processing and working of Instagram. For instance, Like, Comment, Direct message, Follow, and Unfollow the latest Instagram algorithm, guidelines, etc.

If every action were unlimited on Instagram, many business and individual users had the opportunity to excessively promote their account, unlimited comments, follow and unfollow.  That’s why Instagram has set some rules about these actions without actually announcing them.

In this article, we are going to tackle what are these restrictions/limits. Although there are no official statements about Instagram’s follow/ unfollow, like, comment, etc. limits, but according to experiences, we have found Instagram’s limitations. Depending on your account and the previous account activities that Instagram has seen you do, it is all different from different people.

There are some important factors that have a significant effect on your actions.

  • The age of your Instagram account – If your account is more than three months old, it is considered an old account. When you use your account it gets older; naturally, your activity will be increased too. Do not expect to gain a tremendous number of followers or like tons of photos just on the first day.
  • The number of your followers – Those who have a higher number of followers are allowed to do more activities on their Instagram. It shows your account is older, and your engagement rate is higher than other users.
  • Your account’s engagement – Instagram engagement is a vital metric to estimate the number of actions that you take on Instagram. Instagram engagement depends on many things, but it can be summarized in these factors: likes, comments, shares, and saves.
  • Your account’s activity – The more you are active on Instagram, it allows you to do more activities on the platform. So, if you want to use more features on Instagram, you have to be more active on Instagram.

Instagram follow / Unfollow limit

These two are considered as one action by Instagram. You can follow or unfollow up to 150 accounts per day. For new Instagram users, this figure might be around 100. Also, remember to keep things to look natural for Instagram, it is best to follow or unfollow ten accounts per hour. The good news is, there is no limit on the number of accounts that follow you. That’s how celebrities get so many followers only after a brief time of setting up their account.

To avoid spamming on Instagram, you should be moderate on following or unfollowing accounts at the beginning. Try to increase the numbers by week.

Instagram Like Limit

There were reports that the like limit on Instagram is 300 to 350 likes/hour. And, you can see that if you are not using any automation Instagram tool, then it is quite impossible to like 350 times per hour manually. So, for being safe, you should keep it less than that per hour.

When liking posts, make sure you are liking posts from the accounts you follow, otherwise, you are increasing the chance of getting banned. best practice would be to like 3 last posts of each new account you follow, which will result in a total number of 300-400 likes per day.

Instagram Comment Limit

Comments and DMs are more critical. Commenting is restricted to 2-5 comments per day (20-30 per day). And we have almost the same numbers for DMs.

Instagram Direct Message limits

Numbers are almost the same as Instagram comment limits. But when sending DMs, you have to consider some other notes:

  • Never send the same message to many accounts. (what bots and automation do)
  • Try to rotate between several DM formats.
  • Personalize your direct messages. (make sure to include the name and ID of your audience)
  • Never attach a link to your DM if it’s your first interaction with that user.
  • Try to plan your DM activities during the whole day.

Instagram Algorithm

How does the Instagram algorithm work?

The Instagram algorithm is actually changing all of the time, based on the huge amount of data it gains every minute of every day. The algorithm is powered by machine learning, which means that any new behavioral patterns or trends will be factored into how the algorithm works.

The Instagram algorithm is what decides which posts people see every time they open their feed. If you want to gain more followers on Instagram, then you need to understand how the Instagram algorithm works. Before you jump onto this platform and expect to get huge returns, it is important for you to know how, exactly, you can beat the Instagram algorithm.

As confirmed by Instagram itself (well, the creators behind it), feed ranking is evolving and changing all the time based on user data.

Instagram ranking factors

These are the six key factors Instagram’s ranking algorithm relies on when arranging posts.

  1. Interest — how much a user is expected to care about the post
  2. Relationship — how a user is related to the authors of the posts in social media terms and literally, that is accounts from the “friends and family” category are prioritized
  3. Recency — how recently the content was posted
  4. Frequency — How often a user opens Instagram, that is, the best posts since the user’s last visit will be displayed first
  5. Following — how many accounts a user follows, that means, the more posts there are to rank, the harder it is to display all of them
  6. Usage — how much time a user spends on Instagram per session.

To measure the performance of your posts and find ways to leverage the Instagram algorithm. There are three factors that you should keep in mind.

These are the following;

1. Engagement – The Instagram algorithm ranks the most engaging posts higher. When a user likes someone’s posts, they see more posts from that account in their feed. This means that it will take a long time for them to reach the bottom of their newsfeed. They may end up seeing only 10% of the posts.

2. Time The Instagram algorithm also believes that time is everything on the social platform regarding ranking a post. This helps Instagram make money from ads. Knowing this means that keeping users engaged will help Instagram, and thereby help you.

3. How the user has interacted with similar posts. – The Instagram algorithm detects what might interest a user based on how that user has interacted with similar content. If your posts are similar to those, yours will be shown more often. Interest the user has conveyed. This signal is based on whether the user interacts with other, similar posts and accounts when they explore Instagram. Users who also engage with similar content are more likely to see your own posts

How to optimize for the Instagram algorithm

Knowing exactly how the algorithm works is a huge advantage for anyone looking to grow their following and build a strong brand on Instagram.

In light of this, the following six suggestions can help you take advantage of the Instagram algorithm in 2023: 

1. More Interactions with Instagram Stories Stickers Instagram Stories stickers are a great way to encourage audience engagement — and the more engagement your posts get, the higher they’ll be boosted by the Instagram algorithm!

There are lots of Instagram stickers, but the best ones for driving engagement are the pollemoji slider, and question stickers.

Poll and emoji slider stickers are a quick and easy engagement win and can work for almost any business or brand.

2. Drive Conversations with Engaging Captions  – Instagram has confirmed that likes and comments are super important when it comes to feeding ranking — so it’s a great idea to encourage as many as possible for your posts.

One of the best ways to do this is by writing good captions that drive engagement. Aside from hashtags, keyword feature is enabled on Instagram making the caption more relevant on the entire relevance of the post. 

3. Cross-Promote Your Instagram Content for Maximum Engagement  – cross-promoting your Instagram content is a great place to start to help boost your algorithm ranking

As Instagram has grown, so too has the number of channels that you can share content: feed, stories, and most recently IGTV that you can strategically use to drive different audiences to your most recent content.

4. Optimize Your Hashtags to Reach Relevant Communities– Adding hashtags to your posts is one of the most effective ways to reach more people on Instagram, which means more “views” for the Instagram algorithm to take into account and with a good hashtag strategy, you won’t just reach more people — you’ll reach people who are relevant for your business, and most likely to engage with your content.

5.  Dive into Your DMs – Much like comments and likes, direct messages (DMs) are a strong engagement indicator for the Instagram algorithm.One way to use this to your advantage is to regularly invite your audience to DM you with their questions or feedback — or by regularly sending “quick emoji reactions” to relevant Instagram Stories.

6. Reels rolls out to more than 50 countries, including the U.S. – As U.S. officials threaten TikTok restrictions, Instagram has seized the opportunity to release Reels in more than 50 countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Japan. The feature was released in India in July on the heels of a nationwide-ban of TikTok.

The TikTok copycat allows people to record and edit 15-second videos with a full gamut of special effects. Once created, they can be shared to the feed, Stories, and Direct, while public Reels also appear in a dedicated part of the Explore tab. In some countries, Reels has replaced the Explore tab altogether. 

7. Use Instagram Analytics –Taking on your Instagram strategy with a better understanding of what’s working (and what isn’t) will help you come up with a finely tuned marketing plan, saving you time and effort in the long run.

Optimize your Instagram content and grow your engagement by comparing which post types or photos are performing best, and applying those learnings to your Instagram strategy!

But diving into your Instagram Analytics means more than just finding out which photo, video, or story performed best. Truly understanding how your content performs – by tracking key metrics over time – is key to knowing how you stand against the Instagram algorithm.

Whatever tactic you choose to focus on to improve your algorithm ranking in 2023, the most important thing is to keep engaging with your audience at the heart of your strategy.

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