Why people unsubscribe from an Instagram account and how to avoid it


The audience of Instagram is actively growing and increasing every year. In 2018 the number of users increased by 10.1%, in 2019 the growth slowed down a little and amounted to 6.7%. Companies have long since stopped seeing instagram as a teenage platform for publishing food photos and perfect pics. According to Rusability statistics, 75.3 percent of companies are planning their Instagram promotion in 2020.

In practice, promoting a company’s Instagram from scratch isn’t easy. Sales “just like that” almost do not work, and the potential profit depends directly on how interesting the account will be. To maintain subscribers’ interest and promote the page on a monthly basis requires creating photo and video content, writing posts, planning interactivity with users, monitoring audience activity, the number of subscriptions and unsubscriptions, reach, and much more.

There are also times when activity is stimulated but there is no influx of new subscribers or there is a drop in interest and coverage drops. In this case it is worth analyzing the account, possible bugs in its management and identifying the problem. We will consider it in more detail in this article.

Reasons why people unsubscribe from Instagram

It’s often easier to acquire numerous followers on instagram than to keep them. You can analyze your account statistics and predict from where you expect a greater influx of subscribers and strengthen your work with these content formats, themes or conduct this kind of interactives more often. It’s more complicated with unsubscribes. It’s almost impossible to foresee which post, storis, blogger’s answer to subscribers or content type “won’t catch on” or will cause a wave of negativity and unsubscribing from the account. But you can and should work with it.

The number of people unsubscribing from your account can increase dramatically for one reason:

Too many ads. Too many ads and constant mentioning of other accounts is irritating only to those who sell them and those who pay money for them. Normal users do not like ads, it’s another thing if it is presented as a native recommendation.

Example of direct advertising in a post

The best way to directly advertise is to write a helpful post or make informative posts, and then add a mention of another account to supplement what you’re saying. For example, write a post about caring for hydrangeas in the garden and post a mention of the plant nursery where they were purchased or a mention of the landscaping studio that picked them up.

Heartwarming stories about how you found this beautiful account and how many useful things your subscribers will find in it are best avoided.

  1. Too many posts per day. The problem of too many posts per day is especially common for online clothing stores that have just started a commercial instagram page. Such accounts are prone to sharp spikes in activity, the same sharp declines and periods of complete slack. At the time of updating the range of the store, it is all at once posted to the feed, and new posts after that may not be published for weeks or even months.

But overspamming with posts happens in other niches as well. As a rule, it’s a sign of beginner smm-managers. Beginners do not understand how to create a content plan, how to work with the frequency of publications, how to set up delayed posting using services such as SMMplanner. This all leads to the fact that work with the account is not stable, then a lot of posts at a time, and then for weeks there is nothing at all.

The publication of 6 posts per hour will be effective only if it is funny vidosiki

2. Too little content. Too small amount of publications, posts, lack of user activity, can indicate a lack of budgets for social networking, or lack of them at all and attempts to maintain “by yourself”. If the responsibility for maintaining it lies with a full-time employee who already has a pool of his own tasks, there is a good chance that there will be so few publications that your company will be quickly forgotten about and people will unsubscribe from the page, thinking it dead.

If there isn’t enough time to generate content, you can experiment with other content formats – posting more stories and videos.

If this problem occurred with a hired professional, it’s worth figuring out what the cause is. Sometimes the root of the problem is that the customer gives insufficient information for writing the posts and the copywriter cannot write them without expertise.

If the specialist has enough information, but the amount of content has not increased, the first thing to do is to draw up a detailed content plan with a more dense schedule of publications, topics and deadlines. For an example of how to intelligently create a content plan for instagram, see this link. If necessary, it is worth increasing the budget or hiring more specialists.

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3. Boring and uninteresting posts. Your manager has decided that the company needs social media, but no one knows what it’s for or what it’s going to achieve? Congratulations, you are on your way to publishing boring and dull content that will get lost among millions of similar publications.

In order to define the formats of content, to choose interesting and catchy topics, to determine the frequency of publications – you should analyze your audience and its needs, to study how your competitors lead Instagram, to find out how you can distance yourself from them, and clearly define the goals and results you are going to reach.

4. Content is of poor quality. Washed out and not beautiful photos, too many filters, one and the same photos – all this can become a reason to lose interest in the blogger or brand, which leads a page on instagram. Only a very loyal audience will be able to forgive the shortcomings of your content.

An example of a post where the old-film effect and washed-out content is the author’s intent

5. Faceless account. An account that has no owner or company information and is run by a third person can be called a faceless account. People are always more interested in watching live people who have ups and downs, make mistakes and try again. If your Instagram page makes you feel like it’s run by a faceless robot, unsubscribes can’t be avoided.

Exceptions to the rule are the accounts of major companies that are known not only in the online space, but also by word of mouth around the world. Tesla and Apple, for example. Companies are built on the personal brands of their owners and no one can call them faceless. We told you how to promote a personal brand on Instagram in one of our articles.

In their study, Hubspot proved that posts with a face image get 38 percent more likes. This proves once again the importance of creating humanized content, even on a company’s profile.

6. Controversial, negative, conflict-inciting posts. You have to be very careful and delicate when selecting topics for publications. Choosing a controversial topic or allowing yourself to express yourself inappropriately or offensively about someone, you run the risk of attracting a wave of abuse and unsubscribe people who disagree with your opinion. In addition to the statements and sharp topics of your posts, if your followers find out some unexpected facts about you, such as that you live in a private cottage and keep chickens not only for beauty, you can cause an explosion of negativity and increase the number of unsubscribes, some followers will immediately put you among the animal owners and unsubscribe.

7. Feedback from the audience that came from a contest, raffle, marathon, or gif. The organizers’ goal is to move the audience from one account to another. To participate, the blogger asks their audience to subscribe to the accounts of the raffle sponsors. After the contests are over, there are mass unsubscriptions from accounts that seem uninteresting or where subscribers came in search of freebies and free prizes.

8. Bouncing of the audience who came from advertising to a closed account. The percentage of people who are willing to sign up for a closed account from advertising is not very high. This happens because people do not understand what is there and all that can attract them is a catchy description of the profile and a large number of subscribers who are already on the other side. After subscribing to a closed profile a person may realize that he is not at all interested in it and that there is something inside that he didn’t expect to see.

10. Ignoring or lack of feedback, even worse – the company’s rudeness in comments and responses. Without well-organized communications with clients and the audience, it’s impossible to gain the loyalty of subscribers. But it also happens that brands and companies, instead of solving the problem of the client or recommending something, are openly rude. After that there will definitely be unsubscribes and negative feedback.

To solve the problem with communication, you can write communication scripts and general rules for managers who communicate with customers and help them with questions. Reputation and brand image will benefit from this.


11. Inactive account. If an account was updated, active, had subscribers, grew, and then suddenly faded – subscribers will gradually start to leave. In Instagram it is not customary to reread and revise materials “to holes”. If you stop showing up in your subscriber feed, you will quickly be forgotten about.

In 2019, Hubspot found, for example, that most posts garner half of the total number of comments in 19 hours. Another 10% of comments are received over the next 19 days. From there, the content settles as a dead weight on your page and is hardly ever shown to subscribers.

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12. Change of subject or account format. Let’s say you have a public Instagram page and write about saving polar bears. After a while, the concept of channeling changes and you start publicly saving brown bears. Obviously, part of the audience that followed polar bears will leave you, but there will be those who think “wow, they also care about brown bears, how interesting, I’ll stay and watch”. So there is a loss of subscribers when you change topics.

13. Transferring a personal account to a business, changing topics. If the personal account has a good audience, the head of the company may decide to turn it into a public profile and build a company account based on his personal brand. The plus here will be that the company will not start its promotion from an empty channel, it will already have a base of potentially interested audience. Minus – your school friends and colleagues may not appreciate the change of account of Petrovich, on the profile of the advertising agency Ivan Ivanov.

14. Event accounts. These can include accounts of wedding organizers, children’s educational events and activities. Eventfulness of such profiles is expressed in the fact that a person may need the service once or when some event occurs, for example, a woman subscribes to the profile of children’s speech therapist, reads his advice, follows the updates and the release of new posts. After a while the child grows up, or the problem is solved. The profile of the specialist becomes uninteresting and the person unsubscribes.

15. Getting a service. With commercial accounts unsubscribes also occur due to the purchase of a good or service. For example, there is a profile for selling real estate in Sochi. Obviously, a person can’t often afford such large purchases. He will monitor the profile, compare offers until he buys the property. After the purchase, he won’t need this information and will unsubscribe.

Analyzing why unsubscribes from the account happens, it’s important not to go to extremes, not to give up and continue to methodically and systematically update the profile, maintain interest. Unsubscribing is a permanent process. Users can leave your page for a variety of reasons – they dislike your product, do not like the post, stopped being interested in the subject or many others.

Leah Kanarsky, SMM specialist:

A few years ago, in one of my regular projects, I was faced with an important Instagram maintenance task. The marketing department asked me, as the head of the SMM department, to collect data on the number of Instagram replies and analyze the data obtained. And there was a problem – I couldn’t find any research on the topic – what percentage is considered the norm? Under what conditions? There was some interesting data about e-mail unsubscribes, about acceptable norms of unsubscribes, but it didn’t fit Instagram at all. I looked at how it was being implemented and took it on – adapted it to my conditions and started observing. Within a year, with constant traffic, it turned out that while growing from 200,000 to 400,000 subscribers, the percentage of unsubscribes was not more than 0.2-0.9%. That is why we abandoned the gives, there figures were just hell. We leveled the account and it continues to grow quietly, without shocks. Moreover, the number of unsubscribes decreases during the periods of active advertising campaigns. But it continues to grow along with the account growth. At 528,000 subscribers, the bounce rate is still less than 1 percent. Colleagues noted that for small Influencers up to 100,000 people, the daily unsubscription rate was 0.1-0.2% of the total number of subscribers. In my opinion, it’s too early to draw specific conclusions, such statements require a normal representative sample.


Can Instagram unsubscribe itself?

Instagram is a fairly stable service, which is constantly being updated and improved. But even with it sometimes unforeseen situations happen and the service literally starts to goof up. At such moments, you may hear from users complaining that Instagram unsubscribes users, blocks the opportunity to perform some actions, hides posts and stories from subscribers, etc.

It’s for sure that Instagram is not able to unsubscribe subscribers from your profile on its own (not counting temporary glitches, but such subscribers are usually automatically resumed). But the increase in unsubscribes may be due to Instagram deleting and blocking certain types of pages:

Bots are empty instagram accounts that are designed to perform specified actions – subscribing to accounts, liking them, leaving comments, etc.
Massfollower, advertising accounts. If you see an account with 1000+ subscriptions, there’s a good chance these are the same, massfollowers. These accounts sign up for everyone in order to get more attention for themselves, or for the account in their profile link.
Accounts with inappropriate content. No comment here. All profiles that violate the principles and rules of the Instagram community are automatically blocked and deleted.

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How to increase engagement and avoid unsubscribing

To retain existing followers and steadily attract new ones, you can use the following techniques:

  • Post only high-quality content on the social network. Prepare images of suitable quality, write useful content, conduct honest and transparent giveaways, etc.
  • Use regular posting. Set up for yourself one of the services, such as SMMplanner, schedule publications for a week ahead, maybe even a month. This will help organize the consistency of publications and avoid moments when on the day of publication nothing is ready.
  • Post the important stuff in the feed, and the everyday stuff in the storis. If there is a lot of content, it is better to post consciously useful posts to the feed, and to tell and show everything else in storis. For the publication of Instagram stories, as well as for the main feed, you can and even need to make a content plan. An example can be seen at the link.
  • Communicate with the audience. It’s important for the brand to be open and help with product selection, find answers to questions, respond to publications with company marks and reviews, and build trusting relationships. This is the key to brand
  • development.
    Use hashtags. With name hashtags, you can create columns in your profile and create easy navigation to explore your content.
  • Using popular hashtags can greatly increase your reach, users search for content by hashtags and even subscribe to them.
  • Set up contests, marathons, giveaways, but everything in moderation. Free giveaways or prize draws always attract and engage a large number of users. But you have to remember that there will be a dramatic drop off in coverage and some unsubscribes when you’re done.
  • Stimulate activity. For example, ask for a photo caption, send a smiley back, solve a problem, share an opinion, answer a question in the comments, etc. These mechanics can be used with or without rewards. The rewards can be likes on subscribers’ posts or the same giveaway.
  • Make content relevant to everyone. When planning and publishing content, you should focus not only on potential clients, but also on those who have already made a purchase or purchased a service. Placing useful information with tips and tricks of using products, useful advice, recommendations, you can retain subscribers who have already taken a useful action, such subscribers can become regular customers.
  • Be more attentive to the advertisements you place. Low-quality and dangerous products can damage your reputation, don’t take those in whom you are not sure and haven’t tested the products. Try to be more nurturing in your publications and don’t advertise too often.

How to track user unsubscribes

Instagram does not have a function for unsubscribes, it only displays the number of unsubscribes. You can use services to see who unsubscribes.


The most popular unsubscribe tracking services available on the App Store and Play Store:

  • Reports+. The service can work with several accounts simultaneously. Each time it notifies about a new unsubscription and has the ability to generate clear and accessible reports. Available on the App Store and Play Store.
  • Followmeter. One of the disadvantages – you will have to disable two-factor authorization in your account in order for the application to work correctly. The advantages include a handy toolbar that displays lists of users, showing fans and phantom users. Available on the App Store and Play Market.
  • Ana.ly. The app analyzes profile statistics and subscriber data, shows the most active, phantom subscribers, those who unsubscribed. Collects data and calculates popular publications. Available on Play Market.

The functionality and algorithms of all of the above applications are similar, they show general statistics, profiles of new subscribers and unsubscribes, guests of the page and those who have been most active. Of the features, some of them can calculate the average number of comments or likes for a certain period, as well as identify the most popular publication.

Share your experiences of using a subscription tracking app in the comments. Whose functionality did you find more complete and convenient?


If your profile has increased the number of people who unsubscribe or the total number of subscribers has been stagnant for a long time – it’s time to analyze what kind of errors in your account management are present. Correctly building a new promotion strategy will help you move from the dead point and significantly improve the page performance.

Instagram has no functionality to track unsubscribers and can only show their number.

In order to track more specifically who unsubscribed, you have to resort to mobile apps and tracking services. With the help of such apps it is possible to identify the guests of the page, the most active users and get detailed reports on the average number of indicators on the publications, as well as to identify the most successful ones.



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