Instagram has been a strong tool for many photographers and creatives around the world for nearly seven years, but many still get confused by all the small details you sign yourself up for. The terms of service for many social platforms are a daunting and simple to bypass when clicking to sign on for the first time. Take this as a simple reminder: you want to make sure to at least read through the major bullet points before joining any social platform, as you are signing yourself up for a lot more than you think. Control of who you follow and unfollow could be one of those things you bypass.
Instagram is still by far my favorite social platform, but it has its quirks, and if you aren't aware of it, either the platform or third-party apps can control more than you think. Follower count is by far one of the biggest factors in how you are ranked on social media; Instagram is no different. Everyone wants to be the next overnight sensation to hit big with hundreds of thousands of followers and brands clamoring to work with them, but sadly, it comes with hard work and quite a bit of know-how. Here is how to know when Instagram is controlling more about who follows you and who you follow in return.
Knowing the Settings (Web)
It's very important every so often to jump into the settings. Both of these have different levels of complexity and as time goes on, these will just add more details. You can find things such as changing your password, notifications, and the most important, the authorized apps section.
Knowing the Settings (Mobile)
When it comes to the mobile app, it's a great place to dig and find ways to fine-tune your overall Instagram experience. You can do basic tasks such as edit your profile, change your password, and change your story settings.
I would personally love for the web platform to grow as much as the mobile app. The control to push the web experience could be a huge move for professionals looking to build a custom website of sorts to showcase their portfolio.
This is the major reason I am writing this post and easily the most important setting within Instagram or any social platform that you need to know. Authorized apps can be a tricky one to figure out, because basic sites such as Chrome can gain access to your Instagram page by asking for it before you can advance to another step on the Chrome app. Many third-party apps do this, and you may have seen a screen like the one below asking you to authorize the app to allow it to control specific parts of your IG page. In most cases, it will say something like "view your profile" and "view your friends list," but it's not limited to liking photos; following and unfollowing, commenting, sending direct messages, and even posting to your own page are all possible options.
I have seen the issue come up many times in which people wonder why they are following accounts they don't remember following. This section is likely where that is coming from, and it's a quick fix. You simply follow the steps below, and you should be good to go.
Find the gear in the top middle next to "Edit Profile."
Find "Authorized Apps."
Find and identify any and all third-party apps that are using your account for their own gain. Sure, many of these apps will be taking advantage of basic information and friends lists, which so many apps have done for years, but this way, you can click through to unauthorize what you want easily and quickly .
I hope you all found this article and walkthrough helpful for the next time you find yourself confused by the way Instagram is set up. I'm happy to help and fill in any blanks you might have in the comments below.