How to See Who Someone Recently Followed On Instagram?

Instagram, with its visually appealing interface and vast user base, has become more than just a photo-sharing platform. It’s a place where trends emerge, brands grow, and connections flourish. As users, we’re naturally curious about the activities of our friends, favourite celebrities, and influencers. One common curiosity revolves around seeing who someone recently followed on Instagram. This guide delves deep into this topic, offering insights and tips.

How to See Who Someone Recently Followed On Instagram?

Understanding Instagram’s Algorithm

Before diving into the steps, it’s crucial to understand Instagram’s ever-evolving algorithm. Initially, activities like recent follows were displayed chronologically. However, with changes over time, Instagram now curates content (including the ‘Following’ list) based on user interactions, preferences, and other behavioural data. This means that the exact order of recent followers isn’t as straightforward as before.

Exploring the User’s Profile

  • Access Instagram: Start by opening the Instagram app on your smartphone or tablet, or visit the official website on a desktop.
  • Search for the User: On the search bar, type in the username or name of the person you’re interested in.
  • Profile Overview: Once on their profile, you’ll have an overview of their posts, stories, followers, and following count.

Navigating the ‘Following’ Tab

Navigating the 'Following' Tab
Navigating the ‘Following’ Tab

Clicking on the ‘Following’ tab will reveal a list of accounts the user follows. Though the exact chronological order isn’t guaranteed, looking at the top accounts can sometimes give clues about recent activities.

Leveraging Third-Party Tools

While Instagram’s native features have limitations, several third-party apps and tools claim to provide insights into user activities:

  • Caution with Third-Party Apps: Many apps require you to log in with your Instagram credentials. This poses a security risk, and there’s the potential for data misuse.
  • Instagram’s Stance: Instagram is stringent about its data privacy policies. Using unauthorized third-party tools can lead to account suspension or bans.
  • Recommendation: If you decide to go this route, choose apps with good reviews and legitimate backgrounds. Always prioritize your online safety.

Ethics and Digital Etiquette

  • Respecting Privacy: While social media platforms offer a glimpse into people’s lives, it’s vital to remember that everyone deserves privacy. Avoid obsessive tracking or stalking behaviours.
  • Open Communication: If you have a genuine reason to know about someone’s activities (maybe they’re a close friend or family member), it’s often better to communicate openly and ask them directly.

Additional Tips

Instagram’s ecosystem is vast, and users often find various ways to stay updated with others’ activities. Here are some nuanced tips that might help you determine who someone has recently followed:

Private Accounts

Private accounts on Instagram offer an extra layer of privacy to its users. If a user has set their profile to private:

  • Access Limitations: You won’t have access to their following list, posts, or stories unless you’re an approved follower. This means that even if you’re curious about their recent activities, you’ll be kept in the dark unless they grant you access.
  • Requesting Access: If you genuinely want to connect with someone or view their content, you can send a follow request. However, always ensure your intentions are genuine and respectful. Unsolicited or frequent requests can be considered intrusive.



Instagram’s notification system is designed to keep users engaged and informed about their network’s activities:

  • Activity Insights: If you follow a person, Instagram sometimes sends notifications about their activities. This can include when they follow new accounts, especially if these are popular or have mutual connections.
  • Settings and Preferences: Users have the option to modify their notification settings. This means not all activities will always trigger a notification. It’s also worth noting that the more people you follow, the less likely you are to see every notification due to the sheer volume of activity.

Stories and Posts

Instagram stories and posts are more than just visual content; they’re often filled with clues about users’ preferences and connections:

  • Tagging and Mentioning: It’s common for users to tag or mention accounts they admire, are friends with, or have recently discovered. If you’re keen on knowing who someone might have recently followed, pay attention to new or unfamiliar tags and mentions in their stories or posts.
  • Engagement Clues: Comments, likes, and interactions on posts can also offer hints. For example, if someone you’re observing frequently engages with a particular account they haven’t before, there’s a possibility they’ve recently followed them.
  • Story Highlights: Don’t just look at the current stories; explore the user’s story highlights as well. Sometimes, past mentions or shoutouts are saved there, offering more insight into their connections.

By combining these additional tips with the main methods mentioned earlier, you can have a more comprehensive understanding of someone’s following habits on Instagram. However, always approach your findings with respect and discretion.


While Instagram doesn’t offer a direct way to track recent follows, you can get a fair idea with a mix of observation, understanding of the platform, and sometimes external tools. Yet, as digital citizens, it’s our responsibility to use such information ethically and respect digital boundaries. Remember, Instagram, at its core, is about sharing moments and building connections. Let’s keep it positive and respectful!

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