Ultimate Guide: Why Can’t I Follow People on Instagram?

Why Can't I Follow People on Instagram

Instagram regularly updates its policies to prevent spam and inauthentic behavior—key concerns for users aiming for genuine Instagram growth and community engagement. The platform enforces a strict limit on how many people you can follow, capping it at 7,500 accounts to thwart misuse by automated bots and safeguard the authenticity of interactions within the community.

Should you find yourself unable to follow more accounts, it may be due to hitting this cap or exceeding the undisclosed Instagram follow limit per day, which is in place to curb excessive activities that could lead to account suspension. Understanding these Instagram features and community guidelines is essential for anyone looking to manage their account effectively and avoid temporary restrictions that hinder their social media experience.

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Understanding Instagram’s Follow Limitations

Instagram’s follow limitations are designed to prevent spam and maintain a high-quality user experience within its community. Here’s what users need to understand about these restrictions:

  • Maximum Follow Limit: Instagram allows users to follow up to 7,500 accounts. Attempting to follow more will result in an error message, indicating you cannot add new follows beyond this number.
  • Hourly Action Restrictions: The platform restricts users from performing more than 60 actions, which include both following and unfollowing, per hour. This limit helps Instagram monitor and control the rate of user interactions to prevent spam-like behavior.
  • Daily Action Limits: In addition to hourly restrictions, Instagram also imposes daily limits on the number of actions a user can take. Typically, this is around 180 actions per day for following and unfollowing combined. Exceeding these limits may trigger action blocks, temporarily restricting your ability to use certain features.
  • Factors Influencing Limits:
    • Account Size: Larger accounts with more followers are often granted more leeway with action limits.
    • Account Age: Older accounts are less likely to be blocked for exceeding action limits compared to newer accounts.
    • Previous Blocks: If your account has been previously blocked, it may be under increased scrutiny, affecting your current action limits.
    • Type of Action: Certain actions, such as direct messages (DMs), comments, and uploads, are monitored more closely than others like likes.
  • Prohibited Actions: The use of automated bots to perform actions such as following or unfollowing is strictly prohibited and can result in heavy penalties, including account suspension.

    Understanding these limitations and adhering to them is essential for maintaining order within Instagram’s community, which boasts over a billion active users monthly. Users should be cautious and avoid overusing features like likes, tags, and other functionalities to prevent actions that could lead to shadowbanning. Accounts are rarely banned for more than 24 hours, but it’s important to stay within the safe zones of activity to avoid any disruption to your Instagram experience.

    Activity Limits to Be Aware Of:
  • Likes: Up to 1,000 posts per day, with a safer hourly limit of 60 for new accounts and 120 for older accounts with many followers.
  • Comments: Between 180 to 200 per day, depending on the age of your account.
  • Follow/Unfollow: No more than 200 users per day, with a recommended limit of 10 per hour to avoid triggering the algorithm.
  • Instagram Stories: No limit on the number of new Stories, but each one should last no more than 15 seconds.
  • Direct Messages: Aim for a safe zone of 50 to 80 new chats a day to stay within acceptable limits.

    By understanding and respecting these limitations, users can effectively manage their Instagram accounts and foster genuine growth and engagement within the platform’s vibrant community.

Reasons for Being Blocked from Following More Accounts

Instagram may temporarily block you from following more accounts for several reasons, often related to preventing spam and abuse on the platform. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Suspicious Activity:
    • Following and unfollowing many accounts in a short period to artificially increase followers.
    • Use of third-party apps to automate following and unfollowing tasks.
    • Rapidly changing following behavior which can be mistaken for bot-like activity.
  • Technical and Usage Flags:
    • Employing a VPN can lead to your account being flagged for unusual activity.
    • Operating the account on multiple devices or from varying locations might raise security concerns.
    • Excessive caching of data on your phone can cause functional issues with following.
  • Limit Exceedance:
    • Reaching the daily follow limit, which ranges between 200-300 accounts, necessitates a waiting period until the next day to continue following.
    • Surpassing the hourly limit of follows, perceived as potentially bot-like behavior.
  • Account-Related Issues:
    • If the account has been flagged for suspicious behavior, it’s advised to stop the rapid follow/unfollow activity and wait for the restriction to lift.
    • Multiple accounts managed from a single device can lead to a block affecting all accounts if one is flagged.
    • A sudden surge in engagement levels can draw scrutiny from Instagram’s monitoring systems.
  • Security and Community Protection:
    • Hacking suspicions should prompt an immediate password change and reporting to Instagram.
    • Instagram may enhance sensitivity during new feature releases or updates, leading to temporary blocks.
    • The platform may display messages like “Try Again Later. We restrict certain activity to protect our community…” when imposing restrictions.
  • User Behavior and Content Violations:
    • Engaging in activities such as mass following/unfollowing, buying followers, or using banned hashtags can result in a ban.
    • If your account is reported as spam by multiple users, Instagram might restrict your capabilities, including following.

      To avoid these blocks, it’s crucial to understand Instagram’s community guidelines and follow limitations. Adhering to these rules will help maintain a positive experience on the platform and ensure your account remains in good standing.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When encountering issues with following accounts on Instagram, consider these troubleshooting steps:

Network and Authentication Issues

  • Check Your Connection: A faulty network connection can interfere with Instagram’s functionality. If you’re having trouble, try these fixes:
    • Reset your router or switch to a different network to ensure a stable internet connection.
    • Ensure your Wi-Fi or cellular data connection is stable before attempting to follow users on Instagram.
  • Authentication Errors: Sometimes, a simple log-in issue can cause problems with following accounts. To address this:
    • Log out of your Instagram account and then log back in to refresh your authentication status.
    • If you’re still facing issues, change your login method, such as switching from the mobile app to a web browser, or vice versa.
  • Restart and Update: If the Instagram app itself is malfunctioning, take the following actions:
    • Restart the Instagram app and check for any available updates that might resolve potential bugs.
    • If you’re using an outdated version of the app, update it to the latest version available in the app store.
  • Clear Cache or Reinstall:
    • For iOS devices, clear the Instagram app’s cache data or consider reinstalling the app to remove any residual data that might be causing issues.
    • Android users can also clear cache or data from the app settings, or opt to reinstall the app if issues persist.

Server Downtime and User-Specific Problems

  • Server Downtime: At times, Instagram’s servers may be down, which can affect your ability to follow new accounts. In such cases:
    • Verify if Instagram servers are down using a third-party service like Downdetector, and if so, wait until service is restored.
  • Action Blocks and Restrictions: If you’ve been blocked from following, consider these steps:
    • Wait out the temporary block, as most restrictions are lifted within 24-48 hours.
    • Report the problem to Instagram support for assistance, although individual support for action blocks is not typically provided by Instagram.
    • Review your recent activity and ensure you are complying with the community guidelines to avoid future restrictions.

Account Security and Compliance

  • Secure Your Account: Take proactive measures to secure your Instagram account:
    • Enable two-factor authentication and use a strong, unique password.
    • Review any third-party apps connected to your Instagram account and remove ones that are not trusted.
  • Compliance with Limits: To prevent action blocks and ensure you can follow accounts, adhere to these guidelines:
    • Avoid using automated tasks and respect Instagram’s daily and hourly limits.
    • Link your Instagram account to Facebook, especially for Business or Creator accounts, to demonstrate authenticity.

      Remember, if the ‘follow’ button unselects itself or if you’re unable to follow someone, it could be due to a technical glitch, or it might indicate that the person has blocked you. If you suspect you’ve been blocked, note that Instagram will not notify you, but the person’s profile will no longer appear in your following list.

Avoiding Future Blocks on Following

To maintain a healthy Instagram presence and avoid future restrictions on your following activities, consider the following guidelines:

Proactive Measures for Account Security and Compliance

  • Review Connected Apps: Regularly check for any third-party apps connected to your Instagram account. Disable any that may perform spam-like actions or appear untrustworthy.
  • Strengthen Account Security: Change your password periodically and enable two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Adhere to Limits: Be mindful of the daily and hourly action limits set by Instagram. Following around 25-30 people, then taking a 5-10 minute break before continuing, can help stay within these boundaries.

Engagement and Activity Best Practices

  • Organic Engagement: Engage with other users’ content in a genuine manner. Avoid aggressive following, liking, or commenting, as these can be perceived as spam.
  • Gradual Actions Post-Block: If you have been temporarily blocked, do not immediately resume mass actions. Start slowly, perhaps waiting a few hours or a day before attempting to follow or like again.
  • Diversify Your Tools: Instead of relying on a single method or tool for engagement, use a variety of Instagram features to show a more natural pattern of activity.
  • Understand Cookie Usage: Be aware of the cookies used by websites you visit, as these can impact your online behavior and, by extension, how platforms like Instagram perceive your activity.
  • Manage Cookie Settings: Regularly update your cookie settings on different websites to ensure they align with your privacy preferences, contributing to a safer online presence.
  • Third-Party Cookie Caution: Limit the use of third-party cookies, which are commonly used for tracking and advertising purposes, to minimize the risk of being flagged for suspicious activity.

    By implementing these strategies and regularly reviewing Instagram’s community guidelines, users can foster a positive experience on the platform and reduce the likelihood of encountering follow blocks or other account restrictions.


Navigating the intricate terrain of Instagram’s community guidelines and follow limits is essential for crafting a successful social presence while avoiding potential blocks. We have laid the groundwork, highlighting the critical importance of adhering to Instagram’s limits on following, the implications of inauthentic behaviors, and the weight of maintaining genuine engagement. By recognizing these key elements, users can protect their accounts from unnecessary interruptions and foster meaningful connections within the platform’s ecosystem.

These findings underscore the delicate balance between active engagement and the overuse of platform features, reminding us to engage responsibly. To ensure your growth on Instagram remains uninterrupted, remain diligent and informed about the latest platform updates and guidelines. An uninterrupted experience allows for continued exploration of this dynamic social space, fostering community while preserving the integrity of your digital footprint.

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Q: What could be the reason Instagram won’t allow me to follow additional users?
A: If you’re unable to follow more people on Instagram, it’s likely because you have hit the maximum follow limit set by the platform, which is 7,500 users. Once you reach this limit, Instagram will display an error message until you unfollow someone and make room for new accounts.

Q: For what purpose does Instagram impose a follow limit?
A: Instagram enforces a follow limit to combat spam and ensure a genuine user experience. The platform restricts all users from following over 7,500 people to prevent spammy behavior and maintain the quality of interactions on the site.

Q: What could be the reasons behind my following list decreasing on Instagram?
A: You might notice a decrease in your following list on Instagram because users have various motivations for unfollowing accounts. Some common reasons include a change in content preferences, where users no longer find the content relevant or appealing, or privacy concerns that prompt them to limit their online exposure to certain accounts.

Q: How long does Instagram typically block users from following others?
A: Instagram may temporarily prevent you from following others, typically for a period ranging from a few hours to 48 hours. The length of the block can vary based on whether you continue to engage in the behavior that triggered the block. Persisting in the prohibited actions may result in an extended ban.


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