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Instagram Suggest Feature: a Double-Edged Sword

Want to know how Instagram suggest friends and posts? Are you puzzled why Instagram suggest a friend’s friend for you? Read the article and you will get the answers.

Updated 2022-01-20 02:10:07 | by Luka

Let’s imagine such a scene that when you are using Instagram, suddenly you see your ex name on the recommendation list. How are you feeling? Is it creepy that “my ex still stalks my Instagram?” And what about the second scene? One day, you are searching for a product on Instagram, a few moments later, a post advertising the product shows up. What a coincidence!

Instagram Suggest Feature

As the matter of fact, these coincidences result from Instagram suggest feature, which mainly consists of Suggested Posts, Suggested for You(New Suggestions) and related tags when using the search bar. Initially, the feature is designed for content to keep users scrolling longer and help them get the most relevant information among massive posts without spending too much time.

You are definitely not the only one confronted with such an issue. Read the article, and you will have a more distinct understanding of Instagram suggest feature.

How Does Instagram Decide Who and What to Suggest

Most curious and concerned users are likely to ask: “how does Instagram suggest friends and posts?”

People share almost everything on various social media, ranging from their jobs to a cat they met this morning. Thus, owing to the items you share, it is effortless for Instagram algorithm to suggest what and who you are fond of. When supplying you related and latest contents, there are a couple of factors that Instagram algorithm take into consideration, including:

Similarity with Accounts You Followed. When you are looking through a Japanese star’s profile, “Suggested for You” appears on the page recommending other Japanese stars’ accounts or accounts about Japan.

Instagram Suggest Similar Accounts

Relevance with Accounts You Followed. “Relevance” refers to two aspects. For one aspect, accounts that follow your following show up. For the other aspect, accounts that your following follows will be listed.

Connect Contacts. If you allow contacts access to find people to follow, your contacts will be periodically synced and stored on Instagram servers.

Mutual Friends. The more mutual friends you have, the more likely they will be your Instagram suggested followers.

Search History. Provided that you are always searching for a certain person and spending much time on his/her profile, posts, videos, or stories, his/her account will appear on the “Suggested for You” later on.

Connect Instagram Account with Facebook or Other Social Media. Once you connect your Instagram account with other social media, like Facebook, friends and following of Facebook will appear on “Suggested for You”.

Same Hashtag You Use. It is likely that you are interested in similar contents, thus you will be each other’s potential friend.

Posts Location. If you publish a post somewhere, those posts published at the same place will be suggested for you as well.

Likes and Comments. The more likes and comments you give on the posts about something, the more posts associated with it will appear on “Suggested Posts”.

Someone New to Instagram. Instagram sometimes will introduce some new accounts for you even though you have never known each other before.

Instagram Suggest New Accounts

Advantages of Instagram Suggest Feature 

Thanks to the accurate Instagram algorithm, Instagram suggest feature makes you get the right Internet celebrities, find your business competitors, and follow the trend, etc.

To get the right Instagrammers quickly. It is truly easy and convenient especially for the new Instagram users because it is complicated to find out the accounts that you are interested in among billions of accounts. For example, if you want to get more comic profiles, you can follow a comic Instagrammer and more relevant accounts will be suggested for you.

To track the hottest topic. When you type something in the search bar, Instagram suggest feature will show you the hottest related topics.

To get following and followers. Instagram suggests those who use the same hashtags as you so that you can get acquainted with like-minded people.

To discover your business rival. Having a clear and full understanding of your business rival cannot be much more important, providing that you hope to expand your brand’s awareness. It is a simple way to analyze your business competitors quickly and learn from them.

Instagram Suggest Business Rival

To market products. Instagram suggest feature is beneficial for marketing personnel. Based on the contents users search for, “Suggested Posts” can be an attractive part to advertise.

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Disadvantages of Instagram Suggest Feature

Nevertheless, not everyone endorses this feature. The accuracy of the algorithm brings convenience but also brings a lot of trouble. Sometimes, it may be annoying.

The first problem is privacy which is the most concerning issue for most people. Whether Instagram will use these data for other purposes is disturbing.

Secondly, there is another question that users are worried about, “does Instagram suggest users who search for you?” For most social media users, it's embarrassing to meet acquaintances in the virtual world. At the same time, another more embarrassing scene is that when you stalk your ex’s IG, your account appears in his/her recommendation list, and vice versa. Although Instagram official does not give a definite answer, you can use Instagram stalker apps to make sure who is your IG stalker. Also, You can turn your account into private, or hide posts on Instagram.

How to Clear Instagram Suggested Friends

If you want to know how to clear Instagram suggested friends (Suggested Posts cannot be removed at present), you need to do two things to disable Friend Suggestion. For one thing, use a browser on your PC or phone, and click “Edit Profile”, next tap the “Similar Account Suggestion”. For the other thing, don’t allow contacts access to find people to follow.

Clear Instagram Suggested Friends


It's hard to say that Instagram suggest feature is good or bad. After all, different people have different views on the same thing. With the development of digital society, many scientific and technological products seem like double-edged swords. People obtain massive information quickly and conveniently while faced with the threats of privacy disclosure. How to make good use of them is not only a question for users but also for their developers.

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