We love Instagram and all that it does for our businesses. But you might not be aware of some (or any) of the limits Instagram actually imposes on its site. For a variety of reasons, Instagram caps numerous functions on their site. And to make sure you don't get stuck unexpectedly, I've put together a list of all the limits on Instagram.
Yes, there is a limit on the number of people you can follow on Instagram. According to Instagram, in order to "reduce spam", they limit the number of people you can follow to 7500.
Not that many of us will follow that many people, but keep this in mind if you're an active follower on Instagram. If you're approaching that limit, it might be time to go through and determine if there are people worth unfollowing. There may be delinquent accounts or irrelevant accounts that you could stop following.
You can check IconoSquare (formerly Statigram) and other sites to determine who you follow who doesn't follow you back. These might be good people to unfollow and allow yourself to follow more new people.
Instagram will also limit how many people you can follow within a period of time. If you follow too many people within an hour, or even a day, you will receive a message telling you the limit has been reached. As far as I've been able to confirm, Instagram only allows you to follow/unfollow 160 people per hour.
Updated 7/12/14 According to multiple people, but with no official word from Instagram, there is now a new limit restricting users to follow and unfollow no more than 20 people per hour.
There is no limit on how many people can follow you.
There is a limit on the number of likes you can perform on Instagram. This limit is 350 likes per hour. Chances are, unless you're using an automated tool or are highly active on Instagram, you won't hit this limit.
But if you are this active, it is recommended that you keep the likes to less than 300 per hour to avoid getting locked up.
Updated 12/6/14 If you want to go back and look at the "likes" you've given, you can see your last 300 likes in Instagram.
Personally, I'm glad this one exists! 😉 Yes, there is a hashtag limit on Instagram. You cannot post more than 30 hashtags per post. In my opinion, if you're using this many, you're using too many!
There are some limits to the number of characters you can use throughout Instagram. I've been trying to confirm a limit on usernames but haven't been able to verify this information. However, I believe that an Instagram username cannot exceed 30 characters.
Your Instagram bio cannot exceed 150 characters.
There is no limit to the number of characters you can use in your captions/comments on Instagram. This doesn't mean you should be writing a novel under your images (people aren't here to read a thesis) but you do have freedom to write what you need to say.
Updated 6/16/2014: I have heard reports that some people are experiencing limits to their post caption length. I have not seen any info from Instagram regarding this limit. However, a reader named Rob (see his comments below) did some dutiful research for all of us and found that the caption limits and comment limits are now set at 2200 characters. I can confirm that I ran the same type of test and that, yes, the limit for captions on the photo and subsequent comments caps at 2200 characters.
Updated 6/16/2014: As of recently, Instagram has also started cutting off comments (only those following the original caption) in the feed with a [...] symbol. This just keeps the feeds shorter, but if you open the comments, you can read the full comments there. As far as I can tell, the comments get cut off give or take around 240 characters (they don't cut off mid-word). But original captions are still displayed in their entirety.
There is no limit to the number of posts you can share. There is no photo limit on Instagram - whether per day or total.
If you want to delete posts, you can only delete them one at a time. And while I can't confirm a limit on the number of posts you can delete at a time, you may receive an error message if you try to delete too many posts. For some people this happens after 5-10 deletions. If you receive this message, wait and come back later to resume deleting more images.
Your Instagram feed shows the last 200 posts of those you follow. Anything past this limit will not be viewable from your feed.
If you do reach any of these limits on Instagram, you will receive an error message that will look something like "Rate Limit Exceeded Instagram Error." If you receive this error, determine which limit you're violating and either wait for the time restriction to pass or take the steps to lower your activity.
As I mentioned above, most of you using Instagram for business or personal use won't reach most of these limits. Please make sure you are avoiding the use of automation tools (bots) to quickly follow and unfollow users or to hyper-actively like other posts. This is not the way to use Instagram. You should be interacting authentically and generating real relationships with your audience. If you're doing this right, limits on Instagram shouldn't be a big concern for you.