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, and the frequency you post new reels is just one of these. We've found that when we look at creators with the greatest net follower growth rates, we see, on average, that 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 helps 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 that 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 as 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 (i.e. not clickbait) engagement with your community, as one of the most important factors affecting distribution is engagement.
  • Video quality matters. Upload the highest resolution possible. People tend to engage more with content with high visual quality.
  • Make sure that the first three seconds of your reel are engaging, so that people don't move on.
  • Using trending audio can also affect 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 affects 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 take a look at 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 that 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 that a piece of content is engagement bait.
  • Watermarks:

    Ditch the watermark! The third-party watermark on your reel may be affecting its reach.
  • Posting content that 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 and 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 that 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 that 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 that 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 affects 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, e.g. 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, see 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 and 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 such as 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

What should I do if my account gets hacked?

First, don't panic. Then, take simple steps to secure your account. Everything you need to know is in the Help Centre.

What should I do if someone might be contemplating suicide or self harm?

If there is immediate danger, call 999. Otherwise, we've put together a list of helpful actions that you can take.

What should I do if someone is asking or threatening me to share photos or videos that I want to keep private?

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 use sound and audio features on Reels?

You can use the text to speech and voice effect features.

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 three dots next to "Comment" at the bottom of the broadcast, then tap "Report" or "Report as 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 was with the chronological model.

Does feed ranking favour videos over photos?

Your feed is customised for you, so it really depends on how you use Instagram. If you consistently watch a lot of videos, that will be reflected in your feed.

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

No, we can confirm that this isn't true!


Earning on Instagram

How do I become eligible to use monetisation and promotional tools?

You'll need to comply with a set of rules – Instagram Partner Monetisation Policies.

How do I begin selling my products?

Before you start, make sure that you're eligible. Assuming you are, read on to follow our step-by-step guide that will have you set up fast.

How do I learn more about Instagram's monetisation 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 such as 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 21 April.

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’ve set it up?

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


Still have questions?

See the Help Centre for more answers.