Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms to build connections and community by adding friends and sharing photos.
Every day, you receive new friend suggestions.
Surprisingly, most of them are quite familiar, but how does Instagram know that?
In this article, we will cover all the aspects that fall under the vast umbrella of Instagram’s suggested users.
Does Instagram Suggest Users Who Search For You?
No, Instagram’s suggested users are not the people or accounts who search for you.
The search feature hardly impacts the suggested users.
Instead, an unknown Instagram algorithm is working at the backend that controls all of this.
It collects and analyzes all the data and information about the user, which includes likes, comments, search history, linked accounts, etc., and then suggests users and friends accordingly.
If you search for a person, you will not appear to them as a new friend suggestion unless the Instagram Algorithm finds something common between you two.
However, if you search for someone on Instagram again and again, like and comment on the profile, then the profile will be shown to you in the friend suggestion.
What Does Instagram Base Its Suggested Users On?
The Instagram Algorithm is a mystery to untangle for common people like us.
The platform finds and generates friend suggestions based on your profile, mutual interests, followers, and many other factors.
That is why most of the friend suggestions that we get are correct.
Let’s take a deeper look at these factors.
1. Your Search History
Your search history plays a big role in the overall friend suggestions.
Your search history typically consists of all the things you like and all the accounts you like following.
Instagram takes note of this information from your search history, even if you clear it.
The platform notices where and what type of searches a user mostly makes and uses the data to make a list of “Suggested Users.”
2. Mutual Friends
Your mutual friends are an important factor in determining who will be suggested to you.
If Instagram’s algorithm finds a profile that has a lot of the same friends as you, it automatically suggests to both you and that user that you should be friends.
However, not all the profiles with mutual friends pop up.
Instagram looks at the engagement between the two accounts and determines if they share the same kind of interests or not.
3. They Are Following You
Instagram is constantly checking the accounts of users.
If the algorithm finds some users following you, and you have a high engagement, too, it will suggest those users in the “People You May Know” list.
Instagram shows you that these people follow you and maybe you would like to follow them back.
4. They Are Part Of A Group Chat
If you are part of an Instagram group chat with several other people, that makes each of you a possible connection with one another.
When Instagram’s algorithm finds that you interact with an account and are present in the same group but not following each other, it starts to suggest that user again and again in your suggested users.
5. You Have Them Among Your Contacts
When you grant access, Instagram’s Algorithm looks at your contact numbers to suggest known users to you.
If the algorithm finds a number connected to an Instagram account that you don’t follow, Instagram will suggest that user for you.
However, you can decide not to sync your contact phone numbers with Instagram.
In that situation, you won’t get any suggestions based on your contacts.
Similarly, if someone has your contact number, the associated contact can appear in your suggested users.
Both the accounts don’t need to have mutually saved contact numbers.
If one of them has, both will get the friend suggestion.
6. You Use An Account That Is Linked
If a user has two Instagram accounts that are linked with one another, the followers also become associated.
As a result, the activity in both the accounts is noticed, and followers of the one account appear in the suggested users of the second account.
7. Hashtags And Similar Searches
Apart from shared contacts and following the same pages, Instagram keenly observes your hashtags, activity, and search to send you different suggestions.
This makes hashtags an important factor in deciding the suggested people for you.
For example, if you frequently use some of the same hashtags that another account uses often, Instagram’s algorithm could make a connection and think that your accounts match.
Similarly, if the search history of two users matches, the relevant interest makes the IDs appear in the “suggestions” list.
8. They Are Facebook friends
Since the owners (Meta) of both Instagram and Facebook are the same, your Facebook and Instagram accounts are synced.
As a result, your Facebook friends automatically appear in the suggested profiles.
Similarly, if you are not friends on Facebook but have mutual friends on Facebook and share the same bio, Instagram uses that information to find your friends.
9. Live Location Access
Users often allow Instagram to access their location.
Instagram’s algorithm tracks this location, determines where you live and hang out by GPS, and sends suggestions of the accounts and people nearby that you aren’t following.
That is why many of our neighbors are also shown in the suggestions.
Where To Access Instagram’s Suggested Users
To access the Instagram suggested users, you can look in two ways:
- Suggested for you list
- People you may know list
1. Suggested For You List
The “suggested for you” list appears after the first two or three posts on the Instagram homepage feed.
Swipe to the left, and click “See All” to find more suggestions.
2. People You May Know List
To find this list, open the Instagram app, and move to the profile page.
Click on the three lines menu located in the top right corner.
A list of options will appear.
Click on “Discover People.”
A tab will open containing two sections:
Click the one you want to check for the users.
How To Turn Off Instagram Suggested Users
If you don’t like the “Suggest User” feature and want to turn it off, here are the easy steps to follow and get rid of it.
- Open the Instagram app.
- On your profile page, click Edit Profile.
- Select the option Similar Account Suggestions.
- Disable or turn off the option.
If you change your mind, you can go back and enable the option again.
Possible Reasons Instagram Continues To Suggest The Same User
Sometimes, Instagram consistently keeps suggesting the same user.
It happens when the algorithm finds some close relationship between the two users.
Let’s look at why this happens sometimes.
1. They Are Following You
Instagram can evaluate and find when you are absent from your friends’ list.
Therefore, it will automatically start to show that user in your suggestion list.
This is one of the prime reasons some profiles are constantly shown in the suggestion list.
Similarly, if a person is not following you back, you will be shown in his suggestions repeatedly.
2. Having A Lot Of Mutual Friends
Another factor in suggesting the same user is if you have many mutual friends between you both.
If two profiles have 10 to 15 mutual friends, the Instagram Algorithm starts to associate the two profiles together.
Surprisingly, most of the time, this guess can be correct.
3. Both Of You Are In Each Other’s Saved Contacts
If Instagram has access to your contacts, it uses that information to decide and suggest people.
Therefore, the users who have synced their contacts should expect to see their contacts in suggestions.
Moreover, if Instagram finds that both the users have their numbers saved in the contact list, it finds a close relationship between the two and starts to show that user repeatedly so that you don’t miss them.
4. You Followed The Account
Another factor that determines why you see suggestions for the same profile consistently is that you might have followed that account previously and then unfollowed it.
Since the algorithm keeps track of all the history, it may think that you would probably want to follow the same profile again.
How To Appear On The Suggestion List Of A Specific User
Although one can’t be 100% sure that you will appear on the People You May Know or Suggested User list, here are a few things you can do to influence it.
1. Follow The User
The best way to try and increase your chance of appearing on the suggested users’ list of a person is to follow him on Instagram.
As soon as you follow that user’s account, the Instagram algorithm will let that person know they have a follower that they are not following back.
In addition, you will repeatedly appear on their suggested user list.
However, following back or not is that person’s decision alone, and you can’t do anything about it.
2. Develop Mutual Friends
As we discussed in the previous section, mutual friends play a crucial role in deciding who should appear in the suggested user list.
Try to have as many of the same friends as that person as possible.
This will increase the probability of appearing in their suggestions.
Moreover, try your luck by adding some mutual friends on Facebook, too.
It can increase the chances by many times.
3. Add Matching Information To Your Facebook Account
Facebook has a feature where users add detailed information about themselves.
Try to add information similar to the person in whose suggestion list you want to appear.
For example, add the same age, school, college, and universities.
Follow the same pages and groups, and write about similar hobbies.
This may not be the best solution as it may come off as creepy.
4. Share A Group Chat
Another way to appear in the suggestion list of any person is to share a group chat with the person.
It will let the Instagram algorithm believe that you know one another and may push you as a suggested person for that account.
5. Organically Build The Connection
If nothing works out, you can always reach out to the person through direct messages and get to know them.
You may eventually become friends, and they may end up adding you.
Are the Instagram Suggested Users Stalking Me?
Not at all!
The user suggestions you get to follow are not based on people who view your profile or stalk you.
Instead, a complete working algorithm at the back end decides the suggestion list based on complex data like mutual interests, followers, location, contacts, etc.
Am I Also Suggested To The Users Who Are Suggested To Me?
No, you aren’t always suggested to the users who appear in your suggestion list.
It depends on the scenario that connects you.
If you have the contact number, then only they will be suggested to you.
If the hashtags or analytics find a relationship between you two, chances are that you will also be suggested to them.
Will My Account Show As A Friend Suggestion To Anyone If My Account Is Private?
Although your account being private will prevent anyone from seeing your content, it won’t affect whether or not your account is suggested to another user.
Instagram’s algorithm will suggest you to every person it thinks you have any connection with or are friends with in real life.
In short, it limits your content’s visibility to the people but doesn’t affect the suggestion rate.
Does Instagram Tell Its Users Who Visited Their Account?
No, Instagram doesn’t tell the users who visited their account or who is stalking them.
The insight only gives information about things like the following:
- Who followed you
- Who unfollowed you
- Who views your story
- Most ranked post
- Who blocked you (among followers)
How To Find Out Who Is Stalking You On Instagram
Where Instagram analytics and insights don’t reveal such information, various other websites and apps can fulfill our curiosity.
These apps keep an eye on your stalkers and tell you who visits your profile and who is interested in your photos, posts, and stories.
Here are a few apps to help you track down the stalkers:
- Stalker: Who Viewed Instagram
- Instalker for Instagram, Tracker, Analyzer
- Followers Analyzer for Instagram App
- Followers Report IG
How Does Instagram Know So Much About Us?
Now that we have covered the topic of suggested users, it’s normal to be wary about how Instagram knows all this.
Let’s find it out.
When we create our account on Instagram, we provide the necessary details like name, email, phone number (optional), and contacts.
Apart from this, due to the Meta connection, Instagram has a direct link with our Facebook account, too.
It also keeps an eye on the number of devices we have logged in with one account and the number of accounts logged in on one device.
All of this prompts Instagram to make a curated list of suggested users for us.
The suggested users feature on Instagram may not be in your face all the time, but it does lurk around quite often.
You may be wondering if these suggested users appear because you perhaps accidentally visited their profile.
Instagram’s suggested users are not the people who visit your profile.
Instead, the list is based on a complex algorithm at the backend that collects and analyzes your data and information to provide an accurate suggestion list.