Over the past year, people have been posting claims that only 7 percent of Instagram followers see a user’s posts. The viral claim has made it as far as Pinterest and Facebook, where users, often advocating for small businesses on Instagram, ask people to like and comment “Yes” in order to improve a user’s “ranking” and gain more views.
Although the 7 percent post has been around since at least January 2018, it recently gained more traction, accumulating thousands of likes. Instagram has now come forward to debunk the claim in a Twitter thread, commenting, “We’ve noticed an uptick in posts about Instagram limiting the reach of your photos to 7% of your followers, and would love to clear this up.” It explains that the Instagram feed shows the posts in the order of the accounts that you tend to interact with the most. That means that you should see all of the posts from accounts you’re following eventually, assuming you have the patience to scroll all the way down.
Many users responded to Instagram’s tweet, saying that they preferred the chronological feed that doesn’t use algorithms to guess their preferences.
While the viral claim is mostly untrue, the part of it that asks people to like and engage with a post in order to boost the user’s ranking on people’s feeds is true (although interacting with that one post alone probably isn’t going to do much), and it likely partially explains why the post went viral.
Some of the user posts have been removed by the original posters. Instagram confirmed to The Verge that it had not removed the posts.
Update January 23rd, 1:30PM ET: This article has been updated with confirmation from Instagram.