Instagram Show Wrong Number Of Followers (Reasons)

Most of us use Instagram every day.

But, we also face a ton of issues on the platform.

Users face various issues from app bugs to intermittent crashing and everything in between.

But, in this article, I’ll be covering the issue where Instagram shows the wrong number of followers.

We’ll look at what causes this issue and what you can do to fix it.

Some of these issues can be fixed, but sometimes it’s an app issue that needs to be looked into by Instagram’s development team.

Why Does Instagram Show Wrong Number Of Followers

Short Answer: Instagram fails to update your follower count correctly due to a few reasons. These include the app bugging out, using an outdated app, bot accounts getting deleted, and temporary glitches.

There have also been cases where your username might have been mistaken for someone else, leading to you getting their followers.

It might also be due to some of your users being inactive or having deleted their accounts.

Additionally, if you’ve used third-party apps or software to inflate your follower count, Instagram will eventually get around to fixing this which can lower your follower count significantly.

Now, let’s look at each of the reasons in detail.

I’ll also provide fixes for some of the situations since you can do it easily from your device.

Instagram Deletes Bot Accounts Regularly

You might not realize it, but you might have had bot accounts following you.

But because Instagram routinely deletes as many bots as it can, you might have suddenly noticed a drop in your number of followers.

This is common on profiles that are public rather than private since public accounts don’t need you to confirm the follower.

Profiles set to public can be followed by simply hitting the follow button.

While you can change your profile to a private account, it isn’t feasible for accounts that have thousands, if not millions of followers.

You’d have to confirm each and every request and the larger your follower count, the larger your follower request count if your account is public.

As mentioned, you can alleviate this issue if your follower count isn’t too large and you’d like control of who follows you by changing your account to private.

You can do this by going to ‘Settings and Privacy’ from your profile screen, scrolling down to ‘Account Privacy’ and turning on ‘Private Account’.

Instagram Has Bugs

Anyone who’s used Instagram isn’t new to the fact that there are bugs all the time.

They’re generally small and don’t hinder the end-user experience too much, but in some cases it gets frustrating.

Case in point, when Instagram shows the wrong number of followers.

Not all bugs affect all users, but they can.

Which means it’s not necessary for your friend to have a similar issue on their app.

But if they do, and everyone is experiencing it, it’s probably a global bug and needs to be rectified in an immediate update from Instagram.

However, if it’s only on your device, then you can send it an error report to Instagram.

You can do this by going to your profile and tapping the three horizontal bars on the top right.

Click on ‘Settings and Privacy’ and then scroll down to ‘Help’.

Select the first option labeled ‘Report a problem’ and tap continue.

Include your device diagnostics and then you’ll be prompted to enter more details.

Describe the problem and include a screenshot if required.

Don’t expect an immediate response, but if multiple users on similar devices have sent in big reports, it’s very likely Instagram will expedite fixing this.

Instagram Follower Count Glitch

Glitches happen quite often on social media apps, simply because of the large number of active users at any given time.

While the experience is mostly seamless, some untoward glitches can happen.

And if you can’t notice that your follower count is wrong, it just might be a slight hiccup from the app or website.

They don’t last long, so refresh your app by dragging your finger from the top of the screen to refresh the app and fix it.

Sometimes you might have to close the app and reopen it, but it serves the same purpose.

If you keep facing these glitches, I’d recommend clearing your app or website cache.

Update Your App

If you use the Instagram app and the website, and you have a different follower count on Instagram mobile, then you’re likely using an outdated app.

Irrespective of whether you’re using Instagram in iOS or Android, it’s a similar process to update your app.

Go to the App Store on iOS or Play Store on Android.

Use the search bar to find Instagram and look for an ‘Update’ button next to the search result.

Once you’ve updated the app, your follower count should be the same on both devices.

Mistaken Followers

It’s rare, but it’s happened before, to a person named ‘Tom Holland’.

He wasn’t the actor, but because his name was similar to the Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, it led to many users mistaking his account.

While it is an odd case, it might be similar for you.

It might not be that your name is similar to a celebrity, but just similar to someone else with a similar name and a decent number of followers.

Using Third-Party Software To Boost Followers

Using a third-party app or software to boost your follower count is going to land you with the ‘Instagram Police’.

Since Instagram combs through their user base regularly to identify bots, it’ll find your inflated follower count and delete all the bots from it.

In some cases, you might also have your account permanently banned.

While I can understand that it feels great to be popular on social media, I think a bit of effort in what you like to do can help build a real fan base.

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As a seasoned DIY tinkerer, Arvind found the simplest way to help anyone troubleshoot or set up tech without feeling overwhelmed by it. He’s an advocate for smart home technology and in his free time makes music. He’s also an avid gamer, mostly obsessed with single-player titles.