Followers vs Following: What Is the Difference?

If you are new to Instagram, you probably have noticed two things on your Instagram profile – Followers and Following. And you must be wondering the differences between Followers vs Following.

The followers are people who are following your profile to see your posts and engage with your content. Meanwhile, following means the accounts you choose to follow to see their content and engage with others.

In short, when you follow someone on Instagram or any other social media platform, you become their followers, and the same goes for others who follow you.

However, if you need more clarity on this, then here is a detailed explanation:

Difference Between Followers vs Following in Instagram

instagram followers and following

What Do Followers Mean on Instagram?

An Instagram follower is an individual user who follows your account so they can see what you post, like, and comment on your posts, stories, or reels. Also, the followers help in increasing your profile’s engagement rate.

You can think of your Instagram profile as your favorite video platform’s subscription as you subscribe to a platform to see the available content. The same can be said for a follower. They are subscribing to your account to see your account.

Instagram users can follow your account by clicking on the Follow button on your Instagram profile, and they will get your content updates on their Instagram feed.

However, you can choose to allow who can follow you on the platform by making your Instagram profile. By doing so, you will have to manually approve users who can follow you.

But if you keep your account public, anyone on Instagram can follow you or engage with your content without following you.

Why Do Followers Matter?

The value of having followers depends on your goal on Instagram. For instance, if you use a personal account to communicate with your friends and family, having followers won’t help you much.
However, if you are a social media influencer or a business trying to leverage Instagram, then followers do matter.

The more followers you have, the better engagement rate you will get on the platform. It will also help you reach a broader audience to whom you can promote yourself or your product if you run a business.

This will help you attract partnerships, collaboration, or sponsorship as a social media influencer. At the same time, businesses can market and sell their product to a broad audience with little effort.

However, the quality of your followers also matters. If genuine users follow you, you will be getting good engagement and interactions on your content. But in case you have fake followers or followers who don’t interact with your content, it won’t help you get any business.

What Do Following Mean on Instagram?

Following represents the accounts on Instagram that you follow. When you follow someone on Instagram, their posts will appear on your feed and you can like and comment on their posts and stories.

You can also send them a direct message and have a conversation if you both follow each other. In case, you are the one who is following, then the other person have to approve your message first before responding.

Why Do Following Matter?

When you follow someone on Instagram, you are subscribing to their content. If you have a favorite creator on the platform, you can stay updated by following their posts and content. So you don’t have to search their profile each time you want to see what they have posted.

Also, by following both accounts and hashtags on Instagram, you help the platform to learn about your interests. As a result, Instagram will help you find similar content and other accounts that you might be interested in.


In conclusion, the difference between followers and following on Instagram boils down to this: followers are your audience, the ones who support and engage with your content, while following is about the accounts you choose to engage with and stay connected to.

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