People You May Know on Instagram: A Comprehensive Guide

The “People You May Know” feature on Instagram is a powerful tool designed to help you discover and connect with new accounts based on your interests and social circles.

In the ever-expanding world of social media, it’s easy to feel lost amidst countless profiles and content. That’s where Instagram’s “People You May Know” comes in, guiding you to the right connections and communities.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this fascinating feature, starting with how Instagram’s algorithm determines these suggestions based on mutual connections.

We’ll then dive into how you can access and interact with these suggestions, maximizing their value to expand your network and discover new content.

People You May Know on Instagram

How Instagram Determines “People You May Know”

Instagram’s “People You May Know” feature is a sophisticated tool that helps you find new accounts to follow based on various factors. Let’s delve deeper into the algorithm and the factors that Instagram considers when determining these suggestions.

Mutual Connections

One of the primary factors in determining the “People You May Know” suggestions is mutual connections. Instagram believes that if you have friends in common, there’s a higher probability you might be interested in each other’s content. The algorithm assesses:

  • Friends of friends: Instagram identifies users who have multiple mutual connections with you, increasing the likelihood of shared interests or acquaintances.
  • People followed by your friends: Instagram also considers users that your friends follow, assuming that their content might be of interest to you as well.

Facebook Connections

As Instagram is owned by Facebook, the platforms are interconnected, and this relationship comes into play when suggesting new users to follow:

  • Syncing with Facebook friends: If you’ve connected your Facebook account to Instagram, the platform will use your list of friends to find potential connections who also have an Instagram account.
  • Common interests and groups: Instagram also analyzes your Facebook activity, such as the pages you like, the groups you join, and the events you attend, to suggest users who share similar interests.

Your Activity on Instagram

Your behavior on Instagram plays a significant role in shaping the “People You May Know” suggestions:

  • Accounts you interact with: The more you engage with accounts by liking, commenting, sharing, and messaging, the better Instagram understands your preferences.
  • Types of content you like and comment on: Instagram analyzes the content you engage with to determine the themes, topics, and styles that appeal to you. This information helps in suggesting accounts that produce similar content.

Profile Information and Interests

Your profile information helps Instagram find like-minded users for you to connect with:

  • Location: Instagram takes into account your geographical location and suggests users from the same area, which may lead to connections based on shared experiences or local events.
  • Age group: Users within a similar age range may have common interests, making it easier to connect and engage with each other’s content.
  • Shared interests and hashtags: The interests mentioned in your profile, as well as the hashtags you use, give Instagram insight into your preferences, enabling the platform to suggest users who share those interests.

Contact List Integration

By syncing your phone’s contact list with Instagram, you allow the platform to suggest people you may already know:

  • Connecting your phone’s contact list: When you sync your contact list, Instagram checks if any of your contacts have an account on the platform.
  • Suggestions based on existing contacts: The algorithm suggests users from your contact list who have Instagram accounts, helping you connect with friends and acquaintances you might not have been aware were on the platform.

Accessing the “People You May Know” Feature

Instagram makes it easy to access and interact with the “People You May Know” feature. In this section, we’ll explore in-depth how to find these suggestions and the various ways you can interact with them.

Finding Suggestions

Instagram offers “People You May Know” suggestions in several places within the app, making it convenient for you to discover new accounts. Here’s where you can find these suggestions:

  • On your Home screen: Instagram displays suggestions right on your Home screen to make it easy for you to find new accounts to follow.
    • Explore tab: Tap on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen to open the Explore tab. You’ll find a section dedicated to suggested users based on your interests and activity.
    • Suggestions within your feed: As you scroll through your feed, Instagram may occasionally show you a “Suggested for You” section, which features accounts it believes you might be interested in following.
  • Through the Notifications tab: Another place to find “People You May Know” suggestions are in your Notifications tab.
    • “New to Instagram” notifications: When someone from your contact list or Facebook friends joins Instagram, you may receive a notification. This way, you can quickly connect with people you already know.
    • Suggestions based on new followers: When you gain new followers, Instagram might suggest users who are similar to them or have mutual connections, assuming you might share common interests.

Interacting with Suggestions

Once you’ve found the “People You May Know” suggestions, you have several options for interacting with them:

  • Following suggested accounts: If you find a suggested account that interests you, simply tap the “Follow” button to start following them. This will allow you to see their posts and stories in your feed.
  • Dismissing suggestions: If you come across a suggestion that doesn’t appeal to you, you can easily dismiss it. Tap the three-dot menu icon next to the suggestion and select “Hide.” This tells Instagram that you’re not interested in that particular account, and the algorithm will use this feedback to refine future suggestions.
  • Reviewing previously dismissed suggestions: If you change your mind about a dismissed suggestion or accidentally dismissed an account, you can still find and follow them. You can search for the account using the Explore tab or by entering their username in the search bar. Once you find the account, tap the “Follow” button to add them to your network.

Maximizing the Value of “People You May Know”

To make the most out of the “People You May Know” feature on Instagram, it’s essential to understand how to build a relevant network and discover new content and communities.

Building a Relevant Network

To increase the accuracy and relevance of the suggestions Instagram provides, consider the following tips:

  • Regularly engaging with content: The more you like, comment on, and share posts from different accounts, the better Instagram can understand your preferences. This information helps the platform tailor its suggestions to your interests, ensuring you see more accounts that resonate with you.
  • Connecting your Facebook account: Linking your Instagram and Facebook accounts can provide more accurate suggestions based on your existing social network. Instagram uses your Facebook friends, interests, and groups to find users who share similar preferences.
  • Updating your profile information: Make sure your Instagram profile is up-to-date, including your location, age, and interests. This information allows Instagram to suggest users who share your interests, ensuring your network is filled with like-minded individuals.
  • Utilizing hashtags related to your interests: Using relevant hashtags in your posts and following hashtags that interest you can help Instagram understand your preferences better. The platform will then suggest users who share those interests, making your network more relevant and engaging.

Discovering New Content and Communities

The “People You May Know” feature is an excellent way to find new content and communities on Instagram. To discover exciting new accounts and content, consider the following:

  • Following suggested accounts for inspiration: The accounts suggested by Instagram can be a goldmine of inspiration and fresh content. By following these accounts, you can expand your horizons and discover new perspectives.
  • Exploring hashtags and locations: Hashtags and location tags can lead you to new content and communities that you might not have found otherwise. Search for hashtags and locations related to your interests, and don’t be afraid to venture outside your usual preferences.
  • Engaging with new accounts: As you come across new accounts through the “People You May Know” feature, take the time to engage with their content by liking, commenting, and sharing. This interaction not only helps you establish connections but also improves the accuracy of future suggestions.

Privacy and the “People You May Know” Feature in Depth

Privacy is a significant concern for many Instagram users, especially when it comes to the “People You May Know” feature.

Understanding Privacy Settings

When using the “People You May Know” feature, it’s essential to be aware of your privacy settings and how they impact your experience on the platform:

  1. Public vs. private accounts: Instagram offers two types of accounts – public and private. Public accounts allow anyone to see your content and follow you, while private accounts require approval before someone can follow you and view your posts. With a private account, the “People You May Know” suggestions you receive will be limited to users who have a connection to your approved followers.
  2. Limiting who can see your suggestions: If you want to prevent specific users from seeing your account in their “People You May Know” suggestions, you can block them. Blocking someone ensures that they won’t see your account in their suggestions or be able to find you through Instagram’s search function.
  3. Managing your data: You can control the data Instagram uses to generate the “People You May Know” suggestions. Disconnecting your contact list or Facebook account and adjusting your ad preferences can limit the information Instagram has access to, which may impact the accuracy of the suggestions you receive.

Adjusting Privacy Settings

To manage your privacy settings on Instagram, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile.
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner of your screen.
  3. Select “Settings” from the menu that appears.
  4. Tap “Privacy” to access the privacy settings.

Here, you can make your account private, block users, and control other privacy-related settings.

Controlling Data Access

To manage the data Instagram uses for the “People You May Know” feature, you can:

  • Disconnect your contact list: Go to “Settings” > “Account” > “Contacts Syncing” and toggle off the “Connect Contacts” option.
  • Disconnect your Facebook account: Go to “Settings” > “Account” > “Linked Accounts” > “Facebook” and tap “Unlink Account.”
  • Adjust your ad preferences: To manage your ad preferences, visit the “Ad Preferences” section within Facebook’s settings. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, your ad preferences on Facebook also apply to Instagram.


Instagram’s “People You May Know” feature is a valuable resource for discovering new connections and content tailored to your preferences and interests.

By understanding the factors that influence the suggestions, accessing and interacting with them, maximizing their value, and managing your privacy settings, you can enhance your Instagram experience and build a more relevant and engaging network.

Embrace the power of this feature to expand your social circle, uncover inspiring content, and foster meaningful connections in the vast world of Instagram.

With a better understanding of the “People You May Know” feature, you’re now equipped to make the most of your time on the platform and enjoy a more personalized and fulfilling social media experience.

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