Just like Twitter, Instagram doesn't show the exact amount of followers that an account has once the number is over 10,000 - instead, it rounds down to the nearest hundred (or the nearest thousand or more for larger accounts). And unlike Twitter, Instagram always rounds down - never up.
For example, here is the Wired UK account on desktop - rounded down to 69.5K followers:
And it's the same thing on mobile:
Even when you are logged in to your account and looking at your own profile (in the app or on desktop), you will see a rounded figure. If you have over a million followers, Instagram will round down to the nearest hundred thousand - which means of course that you could be under-estimating your follower count by up to a hundred thousand!
Using Instagram Insights
The good news is that it is very straightforward to see an exact follower count for your own account, but only in the app - and only if you have an Instagram Business account. Here's how:
- Make sure your Instagram account is upgraded to a Business account
- In the Instagram app, view your profile (click on your profile icon in the bottom right)
- Click on Insights
- Click on Audience - et voila:
It's a little bit trickier to see an exact follower count for someone's else's account, and as far as I can work out this is only possible via a browser (not the app). Here are two ways you can do it:
Via the page source
- Go the account's profile page on Instagram (in a desktop browser) and view the page source. You can do this either by right clicking and selecting 'view page source', or - in most browsers including Chrome and Edge - using the keyboard shortcut Ctr+U.
- In the page source, use the keyboard shortcut Ctr+F to bring up the search box.
- In the search box, paste the following text: edge_followed_by
- This text should only be found once in the source code. The number almost immediately afterwards (highlighted below in blue) is the account's exact follower count. So you can see the number of followers for Wired UK as I write this is 69579:
Using browser developer tools
It's also possible to use browser developer tools. Here's how to do it using Chrome's DevTools (other browsers and other tools are available):
- Go to the Instagram account's profile page in Chrome
- Press F12 to bring up the DevTools panel
- In DevTools, click on the 'select element' icon (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctr+Shift+C)
- Hover over the follower count (the number exactly, not the word 'followers') on the profile page.
- If you've done it right, you should see something like this. The exact follower count appears in the ACCESSIBILITY section (highlighted by me in yellow):