If you’re an active Instagram user, you may be familiar with the phenomenon of accidentally following someone, only to decide you don’t want to follow them moments later. Have you ever wondered if the person on the other end of the screen will know if you take the step of following then un-following them? This article looks into this question, examining what happens when you follow someone then immediately un-follow them, and whether they will still know you followed them.
1. What Happens When You Accidentally Follow Someone on Instagram?
It can be awkward and embarrassing when you accidentally follow someone on Instagram. This is likely to happen when you search for someone, click on the follow button and then realize you’re not really interested in their profile.
When someone follows you on Instagram, you receive a notification from the app, and that person appears in your list of followers. This means that when someone you don’t know follows you, you might wonder why. You can always look at their profile or recent posts to help you figure out why they followed you.
If you decide you don’t want to follow someone, you can easily and quickly unfollow them. The person will not receive any kind of notification. Just click on the ‘Follow’ button again, and you’re done. If you feel embarrassed about following someone and then unfollowing them, don’t worry. The other person may never even notice.
- Remember to look at a person’s profile before clicking the follow button
- If you accidentally follow someone, don’t panic – you can easily unfollow them
- The other person won’t receive a notification when you unfollow
2. The Consequences of Accidental Following and Unfollowing
Accidental Following or Unfollowing
At times, due to mistaken clicks, quick swipes, or other factors, a person might accidentally follow or unfollow someone on social media. The effects of this could be minor—albeit annoying—or may even lead to unintended privacy breaches. Examples of the outcomes of accidental clicking include:
- Unfollowing a person who you do not want to publicly unfollow
- Following someone you don’t intend to interact with, or follow anymore
- Duplicating an accidental follow or unfollow
- Undoing a curatorial choice you made in the past
These errors may seem trivial, but they can be damaging, especially if your account is public. Publicly unfollowing a person, for instance, may be interpreted as a snub, a critique, or a comment on a professional relationship. On the other hand, accidentally following someone can lead to a follower count surge that was not originally intended.
The best way to avoid accidental following and unfollowing is by double-checking yourself before pressing the “follow” or “unfollow” button. Pay attention to who is being followed or unfollowed, and have a thoughtful approach towards growing your network. Taking the time to think before clicking avoid the consequences of accidental following or unfollowing.
3. Will the Person Know You Followed Them?
Following someone on social media may mean you are interested in what they have to share, or you may just be curious. But will they ever know if you followed them? The answer depends on the platform and it will inform your decisions about following people.
Twitter: Twitter is a platform that let’s you follow and be followed by anyone. Whether someone you followed will know you followed them depends on how the person has their settings configured. If they have ‘protect my tweets’ enabled then they won’t be able to see who is following them but they do get a notification when someone follows them. You will also be able to see everyone who follows them as long as privacy settings don’t restrict you.
Instagram: Once you follow someone on Instagram, they will get a notification that you have followed them. You will then be able to see the posts they have marked as public. If they don’t follow you back, however, they won’t be able to see any of your posts. Ultimately, it is up to each user to decide who can, and cannot, follow them.
- Twitter does not automatically notify users when someone follows them.
- If privacy settings are enabled, no-one else can see who follows the user.
- Instagram notifies the user when someone follows them.
4. Ways to Avoid Accidentally Following People
Unfollowing someone on social media is a common internet courtesy. Here are four tips for ensuring you don’t accidentally follow someone.
Check who you’re following – Open up your list of followers and check that you’re only following who you intended to. You can also look out for unfamiliar names in your follower list who are potentially bots or even trolls.
Disable auto-follow – Some social media sites have settings that enable followers to automatically follow anyone who follows them. Better to disable this if you don’t want to inadvertently follow someone.
Unfollow as soon as possible – Whether you’ve followed someone by mistake or want to clear up old pending requests, make sure you unfollow them promptly. This keeps your follower list up-to-date and organized.
Opt for the block option instead – Blocking someone stops them from interacting with you. Unlike unfollowing, it does not notify the other person, and is a more permanent option for those who you do not want to connect with.
5. Tips for Unfollowing Without Being Discovered
1. Unfollow Large Amounts of Accounts at Once
This will be the least suspicious way for unfollowing since users unfollow accounts in bulk all the time. If you mainly have celebrities in your follow list, it’s possible that people won’t even notice. Additionally, it will help you to stay away from any drama.
2. Use a Third-Party App
Using a third-party app like CrowdFire allows you to unfollow substantially more accounts with much less effort at the same time. It allows for quick unfollowing without having to go through individual accounts. Plus, it even provides useful analytics about your followers and allows you to filter accounts based on certain criteria.
3. Use Stealth Mode & Timers
Another way to avoid being discovered while unfollowing is to opt for stealth mode. With stealth mode enabled, your activities will be kept secret and your account will be discreet. You can also set a timer to spread out the unfollowing and limit how many accounts are unfollowed in a certain period of time.
It is important to keep in mind that if you decide to follow and then immediately unfollow someone on Instagram, they may still know that you followed and unfollowed them. As such, it is important to consider how you want to interact with someone on Instagram before making any decisions involving following or unfollowing.