Frequently asked questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions by creators on Instagram, all in one place.

A creator wearing a blue beanie and checking her phone.

Latest Account questions

What is the optimal number of reels I should share to grow?

There are many factors that go into growing followers, the frequency you post new reels is just one factor of many, but we've found that when we look at creators with the greatest net follower growth rates we see, on average, they post 10 or more reels per month.

How do I get verified?

Request verification in the app and we'll review your account. Pro tip: there isn’t a certain follower count or virality, each account is reviewed holistically.

What's the best time to post?

When your audience is awake and most active. Use your insights to understand their habits.


Growth Tips

There are many ways to grow your following on Instagram depending on what your goals are and the type of content that you and your audience enjoy. If video is your style, the most effective way to grow your followers is to consistently create engaging reels, as reels are the best way to reach new audiences. If you express yourself through photos, consistently sharing feed posts or carousels help you engage with your audience, which can boost the distribution of your content. It’s important to experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you.

When you first share a reel, people who follow you are typically the first to see it. Some followers may choose to like that reel and engage with it, and others might choose to unfollow as people regularly curate the accounts they follow. This may result in some initial follower loss, however as your reel is shown to more people who don’t follow you, the likelihood of new followers goes up. Be patient and don’t get discouraged by short-term metrics. Look at the big picture over time, especially since it can take some time for your total potential audience to see your reel.

We suggest trying the following best practices to reach more people with your reels:

  • You should focus on driving authentic (ie. not clickbait) engagement with your community, as one of the most important factors impacting distribution is engagement.
  • Video quality matters. Upload the highest resolution possible. People tend to engage more with high visual quality content.
  • Make sure the first 3 seconds of your reel are engaging, so that people don’t move on.
  • Using trending audio can also impact distribution. We consider the popularity of trends on Reels to determine how to rank and deliver content associated with those trends.
  • Make your content relatable. For example, humorous content that people can relate to typically results in more engagement and reshares, which impacts distribution.
  • Like or authentically reply to comments on your reel within the first 7 days to generate more engagement, which can help your content get more reach.
  • Study your insights! You can check out your Account Insights and Content Insights to understand who views your content and what they enjoy (even if they don't follow you). This can help you figure out what type of content you should share more of and where there might be room to experiment with different formats or features to find the right mix and help you grow.

Certain things can limit your distribution. Things to avoid:

  • Non-recommendable content:

    Don’t post content that violates our recommendation guidelines. If we determine your content is violating, it will be filtered out from our recommendation systems.
  • Engagement bait:

    Focus on increasing authentic engagement with your community. We will filter or demote content if we determine a piece of content is engagement bait.
  • Watermarks:

    Ditch the watermark! The 3rd party watermark on your reel may be impacting its reach.
  • Posting content you didn’t make:

    Don’t repost content that is already on Instagram. If detected, it will be demoted.
  • Reels over 90 seconds:

    We recommend videos to unconnected audiences that are 90 seconds or less, and find that the sweet spot for engagement is with reels between 30-90 seconds.

Our systems recommend content to people that we think they’ll find value in. To determine how much distribution a piece of content gets, the most important things we consider are how much engagement per viewer the content has received (through actions such as watch time, sharing, following, liking, commenting, profile visits, etc) and how likely the viewer will be to watch and engage with that piece of content.

In some scenarios, we also use audience-matching techniques to make sure we’re showing content to people who are most likely to be interested in it. For example, if you or another creator within your niche have previously posted content that’s earned more distribution from the audience you’re looking to engage, sharing content around a similar theme could get similar distribution.

Content that is engaging and has high entertainment value is more likely to get recommended. Some suggestions to create more engaging content:

  • Make your content relatable. For example, humorous content that people can relate to typically results in more engagement and reshares, which impacts distribution.
  • Make content that engages your audience, so they want to either engage with you or with other people in the comments section.
  • Make sure that the early parts of your video have something interesting to draw users in.

We have different recommendation systems for different surfaces on Instagram, eg. Explore vs. the Reels tab. Engagement that takes place on each surface matters the most for that specific surface. If you’re interested in learning more about how we rank each surface, check out our blog post here.

We recommend videos to unconnected audiences that are 90 seconds or less, and find that the sweet spot for engagement is with reels between 30-90 seconds.

Trending hashtags that are relevant to the topics in your reel can help you reach more people, who are interested in those topics specifically. Don’t try to game the system by showing irrelevant hashtags, because engagement and consequently distribution may suffer if your content is shown to audiences who aren’t interested in your content.

We detect trends using factors like audio and hashtags. We consider their popularity on Reels to determine how to rank and deliver content associated with those trends.


How to stay safe and well on Instagram

First, don’t panic. Then, take simple steps to secure your account. All you need to know is in the Help Center.

If there is immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise we’ve put together a list of helpful actions you can take.

This is unacceptable and you should hold them accountable. Report them to law enforcement, to Instagram and/or block them.


Express yourself creatively

How to reply to a comment with a Reel?

Simply tap reply on any comment left on one of your reels and then tap the camera icon. You’ll see the comment appear as a sticker that you can use in a reel that you record or upload from your camera roll.

How do I upload high resolution reels?

Go to your settings in the Instagram app.

Can I answer questions from my Instagram Story in a live Q&A?

Yes, you and your followers can type live Q&As from your Story. We’ll show you how.

Can I archive Live videos?

Yes, Live videos you share on Instagram are automatically saved to your Archive, where you can access them for up to 30 days.

How do I report a live stream?

Tap the 3 dots next to “Comment” at the bottom of the broadcast, then tap “Report” or “Report Inappropriate.”

How can I control who can reply to my Stories?

You can control who's able to reply to your story. It’s possible in a few taps.

How can I make Stories highlights work for my brand?

Use the highlight tool in Stories to help show viewers what they’re really wanting to see.

How can I find out how many likes, comments, shares and saves my Story got?

Simply tap your profile picture at the top of your Feed or Profile, then swipe up on your Story image or video.

Why doesn’t Instagram go back to the chronological Feed?

Since switching to a ranked feed, the average post is now seen by 50% more followers than it did with the chronological model.

Does feed ranking favor videos over photos?

Feed ranking provides an individually customized, dynamic experience. Our ranking system does not give preference to reels over photos, rather it predicts the content and the type of media that each user will find most valuable and relevant, reflecting various factors like: user engagement, content and viewing preferences.

If posts get a lot of reactions in the first 30 minutes are they ranked higher?

No, we can confirm this isn’t true!


Earning on Instagram

How do I become eligible to use monetization & promotional tools?

You'll need to comply with a set of rules, Instagram Partner Monetization Policies.

How do I learn more about Instagram’s monetization features?

There are too many to list here, click below to discover them all and how you can put them into action.

Do I need to use the Paid Partnership label for things like free trips or gifted product?

Yes, anything received from business partners counts, whether it be money or otherwise.

How can I enable brands to promote my posts?

You need to give permission before businesses will see the option to promote your branded content posts. Then there are a few steps to follow.

How will I get paid for my subscriptions?

Creators should expect to see their payouts for subscriptions on the 21st of the following month. This will align subscription payouts with all other user pay product payouts.

For example, payouts for earnings in the month of March will be paid out on April 21st.

Is this product the same as Facebook Subscriptions?

While the Instagram and Facebook products currently offer some similar features (for example, subscriber Lives), each platform separately offers unique features.

Can I change the price of my subscriptions after I set it up?

You can change the price of your subscription and more within the subscriptions settings menu.


Still have questions?

Check out the Help Center for more answers.