The Difference Between Followers and Following on Social Media

Photo of author

Many Instagram and Twitter users may not know the difference between followers and following. This article will explore what each one means on Instagram, Twitter, as well as Instagram Stories. We’ll also learn how you can make sure that your followers are genuine and not fake accounts!

What’s a follower or what does it mean to be followed on social media?

First, let’s talk Instagram. Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social media app that allows you to share your life moments with friends and family who follow you on the platform. You can post all kinds of content (photos or videos) but most people use Instagram for sharing their lifestyle through images and short videos. People usually like other users’ photos thanks to Instagram’s double-tap feature which was designed for this purpose!

follower vs following

What does it mean to be followed on Instagram?

Being followed means users get notifications when someone likes or comments on their posts – so basically they get notified every time somebody interacts with them online! On Instagram, followers also see new posts from accounts they’ve chosen at the top of their feed while following will only show Instagram posts from accounts they choose at the very top of their feed and in notifications.

What does it mean to follow on Instagram?

To follow someone on Instagram means that you see all the images and videos posted by a specific user – this is different than just liking or commenting! Followers can also unfollow users whenever they want, which will remove them from followers’ feeds. This doesn’t affect who follows who though as Instagram won’t tell whose following whom unless both parties engage with each other’s content/interactions (likes, comments). So if Jessica likes an image John posted but John never sees her likes because he doesn’t return the favor then Jessica wouldn’t be considered one of his followers even though she liked his Instagram post.

Instagram influencer
Instagram influencer

What’s a follower and what does it mean to follow on Twitter?

Twitter is another popular social media platform that allows users to share their thoughts, links, photos/videos with others in 280-character (in 2021) messages known as tweets. A user can choose whom they want to receive these short updates from – either by following or being followed! Other than that, there are no differences between followers and those who you follow; both will see your posts at the top of their feeds (depending on settings). What makes Twitter different from Instagram though is how fast information spreads: an update posted online first reaches whoever has chosen to subscribe (follow) this particular account and then trickles down through other accounts until everyone sees it. So if an update is retweeted (reposted) by several users then it’ll reach the entire Twitter community.

What does it mean to follow on Twitter?

Following someone means that every time they post, users see their posts at the top of your feed. If you unfollow them though then this will stop and all updates from the account user will no longer show up in followers’ feeds! This doesn’t affect who is following whom either as Twitter won’t tell whose following whom unless both parties engage with each other’s content/interactions (retweets or replies). Instagram isn’t like this – Instagram stories are designed so that everyone sees these if their mutual friend has chosen to share them publicly. So whether Mike follows Sally on Instagram or not she’ll still be able to view his Instagram story… unless he chooses to make it private which Instagram users can do. Instagram stories from non-followers still show up in followers’ feeds though, which means they’ll be able to see the Instagram story even if Mike doesn’t follow Sally!

Instagram following

Why is it important to understand the differences?

Being aware of how Instagram and Twitter work will help you decide what tools are best suited for your social media marketing strategy! If you want people who don’t know each other yet (or barely) to engage with each other’s posts then Instagram is a great place while following on Twitter might not mean much unless mutual interaction takes place too. On the contrary, if two accounts share many common interests or their communities overlap then there’s no need to use Instagram – simply follow that person directly through Twitter instead! Instagram’s algorithm is changing though – Instagram stories are designed to be seen by everyone and Instagram feed shows more posts from people you follow which means that Instagram might soon resemble Twitter.

What is a follower and following ratio and why is it important?  

A follower-to-following ratio is the number of followers an Instagram account (for instance) has compared to how many accounts they’re following. This tells users whether or not this Instagram user is likely to engage with their content since it indicates how much time and attention that person can give them without unfollowing! The higher this ratio, the more likely Instagrammers are willing to interact which means you’ll probably see your posts in their feeds too instead of just seeing likes on your own updates (if you follow). You might also want to check out our Instagram analytics article where we go over all sorts of interesting metrics like these!

Accounts that have many followers but few in the follower pool are generally considered low-quality. An even ratio means you’re normal, whereas an imbalance with way more likes or follows than one has accounts following them is viewed as good/great by some users. Those who follow back may be celebrities and influencers on Instagram.

follower and following ratio
Image from

An account like this would get ranked higher due to its popularity among others online; however, it’s rare for such user demographics because most people don’t want their feed flooded all day long from dozens upon hundreds of random profiles they’ve never heard before – which brings me onto my next point: Instagram has a limit to how many Instagrammers you can follow. Instagram’s community guidelines state that users are not allowed to “follow more people than they have followers”. This means Instagramers with too large of an audience will find their account temporarily locked if it is reported by other Instagrammers for spamming/flooding their feed!

That being said, the best ratio is somewhere between 0.75 and 0.90 where your follower-count matches or even slightly exceeds the number of accounts you’re following back – anything above this is considered good while any higher might be viewed as suspiciously high by some Instagrammers (maybe those who don’t want all these random profiles flooding our feeds)! Setting up separate business Instagram page vs personal profile?

Businesses, brands, and Instagram influencers all have different strategies for maintaining a positive follower/following ratio. Businesses want to maintain high numbers of followers so that they can promote their account while brands focus on making sure there is more following than follows because this reflects positively on you as an interesting person or company if your count starts off strong and stays at healthy levels throughout the life cycle.

Photo of author
Author: Richard Buettner
B2B SaaS marketing a challenge? Not for me! With my proven track record, I'll execute inbound and content strategies that deliver. Let's grow your business - and enjoy the ride!

Leave a Reply