Is your Instagram feed or followers/following ratio starting to get messy?
Do you have way too many posts on your feed?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then it’s time to spring clean your Instagram.
Cleaning your Instagram is important as it can help increase your engagement rate.
Additionally, it can help reduce the number of unwanted posts on your feed.
Hence, in this article, you’ll learn 7 different ways to clean your Instagram feed and followers/following ratio.
Table of Contents
- Mute overposters
- Unfollow people you don’t care about
- Use the “Least Interacted With” feature
- Get rid of ghost followers
- Unfollow people who don’t follow you back
- Remove fake and spam followers
- Archive your posts
1. Mute overposters
The first step to clean your Instagram feed is to mute overposters.
Overposters are people who post way too much as compared to others that you’re following.
For example, a typical Instagram user posts no more than once a day. On the other hand, an overposter posts two, three, or more times a day.
People who post too much will overcrowd your feed. This will make it harder for you to stay updated on everyone’s posts.
If you have close friends or family that recently posted something, you might miss their post. This is because their post(s) will be buried by other posts.
Moreover, overposters make it harder for you to like every post on your feed.
To like every post on your feed, you probably have to spend a good 5 minutes of your time scrolling and double-tapping.
This is a huge waste of your time. Imagine if you got rid of the people who post more than once a day—liking every post would be so much easier.
Here’s what you can do clean your Instagram feed from overposters:
Whenever you see consecutive posts from the same person, make sure to mute it.
Next, before following someone, make sure to check how often they post.
If their posting interval is very close, you might want to follow them, refresh your feed, then mute their post.
Whenever you follow someone and refresh your feed, their most recent post will be shown on top.
If you find that the person posts too much, you can mute them from that post.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to mute someone:
- Go to your feed and find someone who overposts.
- Tap on the “triple-dots” icon on the top-right hand corner of their post.
- Tap on “mute” to mute their posts.
Whenever you mute someone, their posts will no longer show up on your feed.
This is an effective way to clean your Instagram feed as your feed will contain fewer posts.
2. Unfollow people you don’t care about
Secondly, you can unfollow people that you don’t care about.
If you’re following way too many people, people will be less inclined to follow you.
An account that follows too many people is unlikely to interact with your posts. This is because they will have too many posts on their feed and your post might be buried.
Similarly, others will assume that you won’t be able to interact with their posts as much as others who follow fewer people.
Hence, it’s important that you maintain at least a 1:1 followers/following ratio as it is more appealing to others.
When you’re cleaning your Instagram account, you need to go through your following list. Find people that you’ve followed in the past that you don’t care about in the present.
Maybe you followed a celebrity in the past but you’re not a fan of them anymore. That’s when you can unfollow them.
Following too many public figures will ruin your followers/following ratio, so you need to make sure to unfollow the ones that you don’t care about.
Unfollowing people you don’t care about will decrease the number of posts on your feed. This will make it easier for you to keep up with every post.
Additionally, your followers/following ratio will improve, and people will be more inclined to follow you.
3. Use the “Least Interacted With” feature
Next, you can use the “Least Interacted With” feature to clean your Instagram following.
The feature lists the accounts (you follow) that you interacted with the least in the last 30 days.
The “Least Interacted With” feature shows you a list of people that you interacted with the least in the last 30 days.
This means that if you didn’t like someone’s posts for a while, they are likely to be shown on the list.
The filter is Instagram’s way of telling you who you should unfollow.
Hence, you can use the “Least Interacted With” feature to unfollow people that you don’t care about.
Additionally, you can use the list to mass unfollow people. Since the feature is new (as of early 2020), you can unfollow people without any restrictions.
If you were to unfollow people normally from your following list, you will be action blocked.
However, if you’re utilizing the “Least Interacted With” list to unfollow people, you won’t be action blocked.
That being said, you can literally unfollow 200 people a day using the feature.
Here’s how you can find and use the “Least Interacted With” feature:
- Go to your Instagram profile.
- Tap on your following.
- Tap on “Least Interacted With” and unfollow people you don’t care about.
Each time you’re done with unfollowing people on the list, go back to your profile, pull down to refresh, and the “Least Interacted With” list will reset.
This is a great opportunity for you to clean your following list if you’re following a ton of random people.
Although there aren’t any restrictions to the “Least Interacted With” feature, you should unfollow a maximum of 200 people a day to play safe.
4. Get rid of ghost followers
Fourthly, you can get rid of ghost followers. Ghost followers are followers that don’t like or comment on any of your posts.
If you have a lot of ghost followers, your engagement rate will be diluted.
For example, if you have 1,000 followers, and you average 100 likes on your posts, your engagement rate is 10%.
On the other hand, if you have 800 followers, and you average 100 likes on your posts, your engagement rate is 12.5%.
With this in mind, having more followers isn’t always a good thing.
Having more followers isn’t always a good thing as it may dilute your engagement rate.
Having a lot of inactive followers will decrease your engagement rate. This will harm your account in the long run.
Hence, it’s important to get rid of ghost followers if you want to improve your engagement rate. To get rid of ghost followers, you need to install a third-party app.
Search for “Instagram Analytics” or “Instagram Tracker” on the App Store/Google Play Store.
These apps are generally safe to use, but most of them require you to pay to view your ghost followers.
It’s highly recommended that you invest in their premium feature(s) as you can easily find your ghost followers.
Otherwise, you’ll have to go manually through your followers and see whether they liked your posts which is a demanding task.
After you purchased the “Ghost/Inactive followers” feature, you can unfollow those users if you’re previously following them.
You can also remove them from following you by tapping on “remove” in your list of followers. Do not unfollow users from the third-party app itself or you may be action blocked.
Instead, search for the ghost followers in the Instagram app and unfollow them there.
Additionally, make sure to unfollow users in intervals of 5 to 10 minutes to prevent getting action blocked.
If you do get action blocked, you’ll have to wait for up to 24 hours or more for it to be lifted.
All in all, getting rid of ghost followers will get you one step closer to cleaning your Instagram account.
5. Unfollow people who don’t follow you back
The fifth way to clean your Instagram feed is to unfollow people who don’t follow you back.
People who don’t follow you back won’t like or comment on your posts.
Unfollowing people who don’t follow you back will improve your followers/following ratio, and minimize the number of posts on your feed.
This is because your posts won’t be shown on their feed. If you’re following people who don’t follow you back, your followers/following ratio will be negatively affected.
There are two ways you can check whether someone is following back on Instagram.
Firstly, you can download a third-party app on your device.
Search for “Instagram Analytics” or “Instagram Followers” on the App Store/Google Play Store and download one of the apps.
Go to the app and find the feature that says something along the lines of, “not following back”.
Search for the usernames of the people that are not following you back on the Instagram app and unfollow them there.
The second way to check whether someone is following you back on Instagram is to manually go through your following list and visit each profile.
Next, search for your username on their following list. If you didn’t appear in the search results, then they are not following you back.
On the other hand, if you appear in the search results, then they are following you back.
However, I do not recommend this method as it is very lengthy. I highly recommend using a third-party app to track people that are not following you.
Do note that when you’re using a third-party app, do not unfollow people from the app itself or you have a high chance of getting action blocked.
These apps allow you to unfollow people at a faster rate, so Instagram will temporarily block you from unfollowing.
Whenever you’re unfollowing people, make sure that you unfollow in small batches (e.g. 5 users in 1 minute) to prevent getting action blocked.
6. Remove fake and spam followers
Removing fake and spam followers is an important step to cleaning your Instagram account.
Although Instagram has fewer fake followers in the present as compared to a few years back, fake followers are still a huge problem.
This is because of a couple of reasons.
Firstly, fake followers will decrease your engagement rate as they won’t like or comment on your posts.
If you bought or got fake followers in the past, make sure to unfollow, block, and/or remove them from your account.
Even if you didn’t buy any followers, you might have some spam accounts following you that you need to get rid of.
Secondly, fake followers will decrease the overall quality of your account. Brands will not want to work with you if you have inauthentic followers, likes, or comments.
You can easily detect fake or spam followers by visiting their profile.
To begin with, a fake account usually has no profile picture. An account with no profile picture is a red flag as it has a high chance of being a fake account.
Additionally, a fake account typically has an odd username, typically with a random combination of words and numbers.
The last way you can identify a fake account is if they have little to no posts. Even if they do have posts, it’ll have almost no engagement.
Here’s a comparison between real followers against fake followers:
Now that you know how to identify fake/spam followers, it’s time to remove them.
You can do so by going to your list of followers and tapping on “remove”.
Instagram released this feature in mid-2018 and it’s a great alternative to blocking someone.
Removing someone will make them unfollow you, and they will not be notified of it.
Alternatively, you can block them to automatically unfollow and remove them as a follower. Removing fake/spam followers is important as it can increase your engagement rate.
After all, you’re better off having lesser followers than followers that don’t engage.
7. Archive your posts
Lastly, if you want to clean your Instagram feed, you can archive your old posts.
Typically, your old posts will look very different from your newer ones.
Instead of deleting a post, you can archive it to hide it from showing on your feed.
If you’ve used Instagram for a long time, your feed’s theme might have changed.
Maybe you posted a ton of photography pictures in the past, but you only post pictures of yourself in the present.
Or maybe you used a black and white filter for your older photos, but you’re using another filter for your newer photos.
Either way, in order for you to maintain the theme of your feed, you can archive some of your older posts. This will keep your feed consistent with your theme.
Instagram released the “Archive” feature in mid-2017. Instead of deleting a post, you can archive it to keep its likes and comments.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to archive your posts on Instagram:
- Go to your Instagram feed.
- Scroll down and find the posts that you want to archive.
- Tap on the “triple-dots” icon at the top right-hand corner of the post.
- Select “Archive” to archive your post.
Archiving your post will hide it from showing on your feed—which means that no one will be able to see it.
You can choose to unarchive your post to show it on your feed again. If you do, the post will re-appear on your feed, as well as its likes and comments.
Fundamentally, archiving your posts is a great way you can minimize the posts on your feed, and to keep your theme consistent.
In this article, you’ve learned 7 different ways to clean your Instagram account.
If you’re still questioning whether cleaning your Instagram account is worth it, here is a summary of its benefits:
- Improve your followers/following ratio
- Maintain/increase your engagement rates
- Minimize the number of posts on your feed
At the bare minimum, you should aim to clean your Instagram once a month if you want to reap its benefits.