Where Business Meets the Blogroll

Instagram Makes a Dumb Move to Be More Like Facebook a Less Like Twitter

What is the future of Instagram? I’ve long enjoyed it as a visual-based social network. Like Twitter for pictures.

Earlier this year Facebook bought Instagram. I’ve always figured Facebook would eventually merge Instagram functionality into a new and improved Facebook mobile application. Instagram makes it easy to post decent looking photos, even from a subpar mobile phone. That’s a feature that would enhance Facebook.

Instead of taking a great feature from Instagram and adding it to Facebook, the opposite has happened. One of the worst features of Facebook has arrived at Instagram.

I have 10,814 followers and follow 16,894 other accounts. Here’s my profile:


My Instagram Profile (StevenLJohnson)

Today I tried to follow back a new followers and Instagram said: ” Error: You can’t follow anymore people”

Error: You can’t follow anymore people

Looking into it, I found out that Instagram now allow me to follow only 7,500 other accounts.

I like to comment on my followers pictures and enjoy the exchanges that happen when they comment on mine. With this new hard limit, it means I can’t follow back any of my newest followers.

Even worse, if I want to follow anyone else, I have to unfollow 9,395 accounts first. Do you have any idea how long it takes to unfollow 9,395 accounts?

This is dumb, Instagram.

Punishing loyal early adopters is a bad business move. I thought I’d be using Instagram for a long time come. Now, I doubt it.

Instagram has rendered my account unusable for social networking.

Hard limits are stupid limits. Twitter has a sensible follow/follower ratio that serves a similar purpose in a reasonable way.

Meanwhile, until Instagram comes to its senses… does anyone know of another mobile photo sharing social network I can try out?

6 Responses to Instagram Makes a Dumb Move to Be More Like Facebook a Less Like Twitter

  • And, another reason to be annoyed by Instagram today… they no longer place nice with Twitter: http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/instagram-says-sayonara-to-twitter_b32282

  • Hey Steven, that’s strange. I have 20k followers whilefollowing 66k and Instagram is still letting me follow people back. I do bump into a “rate limit exceeded” error if I try to follow back too many people too quickly, but even that only lasts a minute or two before I can start following again.

  • Thanks for the info Paul. From looking into it, it seems like Instagram made the policy change many months ago. I can’t figure out why my account just started getting the error message–maybe I did something to trigger a spam block??

    I’ve also gotten that “rate limit exceeded” message many times… another arrival after the FB purchase.

  • That’s odd. But now that IG is owned by FB, I fully expect a whole slew of non-user-friendly changes to come as FB has shown its shareholders/revenue are a much higher priority than its users.

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  • I don’t know why this is happening to me it’s kind of like your problem but no one is able to follow me! They keep leaving comments on my picture saying that ‘I can’t follow you’ why is this happening!?! Please help thanks