[Fixed] Why Can’t I Follow People on Instagram?
If you’re not able to follow people on Instagram and are wondering why, this guide is for you. You’ll learn what’s stopping you from following people on Instagram, how to fix it, and how to avoid a similar situation in the future.
With Instagram surging in popularity in recent years, promotions from business accounts rose exponentially, with many accounts trying to reach out to a large audience in a short span of time. Hence, Instagram released new updates in 2018 to prevent accounts from spamming users with promotions. The update looked to crack down on the use of 3rd-party bots and services aimed at gaining followers.
Therefore, several Instagram users reported instances of some of their actions being blocked on the app, like being unable to follow other people’s accounts. If you’re one of those users and are wondering why you’re not able to follow people on Instagram, fret not, as in this guide, we explain workarounds on how you can fix it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why can't I follow people on Instagram?
- How to know if my actions are being limited by Instagram?
- What are the reasons Instagram would stop me from following others?
- I can’t follow people on Instagram, how do I fix it?
- FAQs: Why can’t I follow people on Instagram
- What’s the maximum number of people I can follow every day on Instagram?
- How long does Instagram’s “Action blocked” ban last?
- How to avoid being banned on Instagram?
Why can’t I follow people on Instagram?
If you’re not able to follow users on Instagram, most likely your account would have reported instances of ‘inauthentic activity’ to Instagram. For example, you might have used a 3rd party bot or service to automate followers, likes, shares, etc. Or, you might have followed and/ or unfollowed a lot of accounts in a short span of time. Further, you can’t follow more than 7500 people from one account, so maybe you’ve reached that limit.
How to know if my actions are being limited by Instagram?
Suppose you hit the “Follow” button on an account you like, and just for a second, it turns white but turns back to blue again, while automatically unfollowing them. You might also receive a message saying “Action Blocked” or “You’re Temporarily Blocked”.
This ban is usually temporary, and in the message, you’ll also likely be notified of the time period for which your account will be restricted.
If you’re a marketer or are trying to promote something of your own - like a business or website - your chances of being hit with such a ban are more. Also note that Instagram levies a temporary ban for over-use of any of its features - be it liking others’ posts, commenting, or following/ unfollowing. Further, while Instagram can block you from following only certain accounts, it can also ban you from following any account.
What are the reasons Instagram would stop me from following others?
As mentioned, Instagram, following its recent updates, is always on the watch for “inauthentic activity” from user accounts. Any account that is deemed to be engaging in automation, spamming, or any other suspicious activity is flagged, and the account is banned from carrying out certain actions.
If you’re being thrown the “Action Blocked” error when you try to follow an account, it can be frustrating. This is because being able to follow others is such a crucial part of the Instagram experience.
But before we get to how you can fix the follow ban on your Instagram account, let’s understand the possible causes of why your account was banned in the first place, so you can avoid making the same mistakes again.
1. You followed too many accounts too fast
Following too many accounts within an hour or a few hours - either manually or using bots - is one of the main reasons why Instagram would ban you from following others. Further, if you’ve indulged in the process of following/ unfollowing people rapidly to gain followers, chances are that’s why you’ve been banned - Instagram strictly prohibits this.
2. You’ve used automation software or bots on Instagram
Instagram prohibits the use of 3rd party bots and services to automate mundane tasks like liking other people’s posts, commenting on them, or following/ unfollowing other accounts. So if you’ve previously used such a bot or service, there is a high chance that Instagram has banned you from following others due to this.
3. You’ve reached Instagram’s maximum follow limit
You can’t follow more than 7500 people on your Instagram account. Although it’s unlikely that you would have reached this limit, you should keep this in mind. Check if you’ve reached this quota, and if you have, you’ll have to unfollow some accounts to be able to follow new people.
4. Your account is being used on multiple devices and locations
It’s normal to operate your Instagram on more than one device - like from your phone, iPad, or a PC web browser. But, if Instagram detects that your account is being continuously logged into on multiple devices with different locations, it will ban your account.
5. It’s a bug on your phone
If you’re someone who uses Instagram a lot, chances are your phone stores a high volume of cached data and information. This can sometimes lead to functionality issues within the Instagram app, especially if your phone’s storage is nearing its limit. So, if you’re thinking why you can’t follow people on Instagram, maybe try clearing the app’s data and check again.
I can’t follow people on Instagram, how do I fix it?
If your account has been flagged for indulging in “inauthentic activities”, and you’re wondering why you can’t follow people on Instagram, don’t worry. Here are a few quick fixes you can try to get back the ability to follow others:
1. Use a different internet network
At times, the block would be targeting your internet connection’s IP address. So, try logging into the Instagram app from a different internet connection. For instance, if you’ve previously used your mobile data, log into Instagram from your WiFi network and check if you’re now able to follow others.
2. Login with another device
Now, provided your account hasn’t been flagged for any unusual activity, logging into Instagram from another device can sometimes do the trick. So sign out of your account and log into it using a different device - like a PC or tablet.
3. Follow people through Facebook
Since Facebook owns Instagram, their platforms are deeply integrated. So, if you’re not able to follow people on Instagram, follow them through your Facebook account (most IG users also have a Facebook account). To do this, go to “Settings” > “Follow and Invite Friends” > “Follow contacts”.
Next, tap on the “Suggested” tab > “Connect to Facebook”. You’ll now be able to see all your Facebook friends who have Instagram accounts.
4. Report the problem to Instagram support
You can request for support within the “Action blocked” message when you receive it, but you can also do it via the app’s settings. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1. Go to “Settings” in the Instagram app
Step 2. Tap on “Help” > “Report a Problem” > “Report a Problem”
Step 3. Follow the on-screen instructions to report the issue
FAQs: Why can’t I follow people on Instagram
What’s the maximum number of people I can follow every day on Instagram?
While there is no official count, most experts advise that you shouldn’t follow more than 200-500 people per day on Instagram. Note that this number depends on the age of your Instagram account - if your account is new or just days old, follow no more than 50 people per day. If you’ve been on the platform for long and regularly engage on it, you can do more.
How long does Instagram’s “Action blocked” ban last?
Depends on the extent of your violation. In most cases though, an Instagram account can be banned from 20 minutes to a few hours, or even a few days. In more serious cases, a month-long ban can also be levied, while for extreme cases, a ban can be permanent.
How to avoid being banned on Instagram?
Here are some best practices you can follow to avoid triggering Instagram’s moderation and being blocked:
1. Avoid using automated bots or services for liking, commenting, following, etc.
2. Complete your bio and link your Instagram account to other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will help give Instagram proof that you are a real person.
3. Engage on the platform regularly, but not excessively. Don’t leave your account idle for long, and then suddenly start mass following people.
4. Don’t start executing mass actions soon after the ban is lifted.