How Does Instagram Suggest Friends? 5 Factors To Know! 


Do you also think that Instagram knows you better than you know yourself? I mean, Instagram knows the kind of people you’d want to interact with, the kind of friends you will want to make, what to show in your explore feed, and what type of reels you like to watch. etc etc. It’s like the app just gets your taste. As marvelous as Instagram is, at some point you may have wondered how does Instagram suggest friends? 

It’s natural to suspect that Instagram is monitoring you. But, is the app really doing that? If not, how does it know your taste better than yourself? How does the Suggested for you feature even work? I’m sure you’ve got plenty of questions about the whole suggest friends feature. Lucky for you, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how does Instagram suggest friends. So, keep reading! 

Here’s How Does Instagram Suggest Friends | These Are The 5 Factors Instagram Considers! 

So, is Instagram monitoring you? Yes. But, before you start thinking poorly of the app, let me tell you one thing: Instagram isn’t the culprit here. It is just how the app works. Instagram, just like all other social media sites, monitors your activity on the platform to understand you and your taste better. This is how it finds out what kind of content you will like and suggests people you’d consider following accordingly. 

Well, it’s obviously not as simple as I’m making it out to be. There’s more to understand about how does Instagram suggest friends. So, to get the complete picture, read this article till the end. 

How Does Instagram Choose “Suggested For You”? 

How Does Instagram Suggest Friends? 5 Factors To Know! 

As I told you above, Instagram starts tracking your activity or digital footprint on the platform, as soon as you create an account. It does this to help you connect with like-minded people and have a better experience on the app. 

So, if it notices that you share mutual interests or friends with someone you follow, it shows you their account under the “Suggested for you”. 

To understand how does Instagram suggest friends feature work, have a look at the factors that the app considers:

Phone Contacts

Do you remember the time you created an Instagram account? If yes, you may recall that the app asked you for several permissions, one being access to your phone contacts. Well, this was because Instagram uses access to your phone contacts to display all those people as suggested friends on the platform. Yes, Instagram indeed tries to make communication stronger. 

So, if Instagram has access to your phone contacts, then part of your Suggested Friends will be based on the people from your contacts– especially the ones you haven’t followed back yet. 

Recent Searches

The kind of people, hashtags, and accounts you search on Instagram tells the platform a lot about you. It conveys your taste loud and clear. And so, this is what helps Instagram’s algorithm predict what kind of accounts you’re likely to follow. Also, the amount of time you spend on someone’s profile is taken into consideration. 

So, if you’re going to spend too much time on Kylie Jenner’s profile– irrespective of whether you like her or not— her Instagram profile will be suggested to you. Also, don’t be surprised if other Jenners and Kardashians also pop up in the suggested for you section; that will be because of your interest too. 


I bet you already know how useful hashtags are. They associate your posts with various Instagram accounts at once. So, if you ever search for a hashtag, then Instagram is going to suggest all the accounts related to that hashtag. Because chances are, the accounts in question will be posting relevant content. And this is what makes them eligible to be your friends. 

Also, Instagram only considers the most active accounts– the ones that use the hashtag a lot– when suggesting their account to you. Their account may not show up in suggestions immediately, but it will happen eventually. 

Mutual Friends

Instagram likes to track/ monitor and analyze how mutual friends of any given account engage. When it sees that the two accounts can be connected to each other as well, it shows one to the other in the suggested friends’ section. Yes, the app is hell-bent on finding and building connections between people in whatever way possible. 

So, if you ever accidentally come across your old schoolmate on Instagram, just know that it’s no miracle. You two happen to share some mutual friends and Instagram found out before you did. 

Linked Accounts

As you already know, Instagram is owned by Meta, formerly known as Facebook. So, if your Instagram and Facebook accounts are linked, i,e, you use the same details for both your accounts, then your Facebook friends are automatically going to show up in your Instagram’s suggested friends section. 

This is because Instagram’s algorithm will track your activity not just on Instagram but also on Facebook and see what kind of people you’re likely to engage with. 

Final Words

Alright, people! This is how does Instagram suggest friends! Pretty clever, isn’t it? The app is hell-bent on ensuring that you stay well-connected with people and that’s why it keeps taking notes of how you spend your time. If you have anything to share about Instagram’s suggested friends’ feature, feel free to drop it in the comments below, I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts! 

Does friend suggestion mean someone looked at your profile?

The first name that pops up is either the last person you looked at, or the last person who looked at you. Facebook also gives you friend suggestions; those are people who may have been looking at your profile.

What does it mean when Instagram suggests someone?

This feature is designed to show you other Instagram accounts that are similar to the user you just followed. The suggested Instagram accounts are determined by an algorithm, and are surprisingly super effective.

Are suggested friends on Instagram stalkers?

You can not determine whether they look at your profile or not but the main reason they are being suggested to you is something else not that they are stalking you. Instagram collects data from likes, comments, prior searches, and post locations to suggest accounts during searches, even after search history is cleared.

Are friend suggestions random?

People You May Know suggestions come from things like having mutual friends or being a part of the same network. We regularly update People You May Know to improve suggestions. However, sometimes we might get it wrong and show someone you don’t know or want to add as a friend.

Cherry Sharma
Cherry Sharma
Cherry is a Vocational English graduate with a deep love for reading fiction and writing. Cherry is also passionate about psychology and is an advocate of mental health. In her free time, you can catch her making reels and posts around the topics for Instagram. She's constantly brainstorming ideas and googling strategies to grow her own profile. So, on Viebly, she combines her interests and knowledge to write articles that help other people use Instagram better as well.


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