Instagram will definitely rank among the top three social media platforms that exist and it wouldn’t achieve this height if there are no rules and limitations for its users.
No social media platform out there will succeed without maintaining rules, the rules imposed on Instagram are meant to protect everyone and to make it better than ever.
Just like you have your new year resolutions, Instagram also releases new updates every year in order to serve its users better.
In this post we’ll talk about the new updates and features Instagram has for 2021, knowing these rules will help you protect your account and also serve your followers better.
How Instagram Algorithm Works
Whatever set of rules Instagram released, they will be controlled by their Algorithm which is designed by their software engineers.
Before we outline the rules, limits, and restrictions, it’s important to explain how Instagram Algorithm works and some of the factors involved that will determine your engagement on the platform.
Instagram Algorithm For Feed Posts In 2021
Everyone wants their content to go viral without knowing the factors that will influence their content outreach. There are about six factors that control feed posts on Instagram, and they’re listed by Instagram. Let’s talk about these factors.
The posts in your feed will depend on your interests, which means your feed will have posts from accounts you follow and the ones you like the most.
The more you’re liking and commenting on posts from any account, the more you’ll receive their updates in your feed.
Basically, when you’re engaging with any user or profile, you’re sending a signal to the algorithm that you love their content and you want to get in touch, that’s why you’ll realize that you keep on getting your feed filled with posts from accounts you engage with the most.
Instagram Algorithm will give priority to family and friends posts, the question now is, how will Instagram know that?
They’ll consider the posts you like the most, the people or accounts you’re exchanging direct messages with, the people or brands you’re searching for, and some of the people you know in real life.
Once the Algorithm detects some of these activities, you’ll find that their posts are included in your feed post.
The Algorithm tends to show you the most recent content posted, if you’ve noticed, most of the content in your feed is posted for the past 24 hours, you’ll only see old content if you don’t have many followers.
If you want to get the best engagement you need to post when the majority of your followers are online based on their time zones.
The Instagram algorithm considers how often you log into your app, if you’re the type that logs in a couple of times every day, you’ll find that your feed is more chronological and you’ll be shown the best posts from the last visit.
If you just check into the app occasionally, they’ll present the content they think you might like.
Provided you log into your Instagram account often and you’re following enough accounts that released updates on a daily basis, you’ll receive content from them in your feed.
If you’re looking for more outreach, you want to make sure that your followers are active and if they’re not, you remove them.
If you’re using the platform a lot, you’ll have a lot of content in your feed and Instagram will dig deeper into their catalog and if you spend only some minutes, you get just highlights.
These are the factors used by the Instagram algorithm when it comes to your feed posts. Let’s get on with the stories.
Instagram Algorithm For Stories
The top stories you saw in your feed are the accounts you engage the most with, the engagement can be through views, comments, likes, or DMs.
The algorithm also focuses on timeliness, which means you get to see all-new stories from accounts you’re following. If you want to get the best outreach, you should always post on stories.
Instagram Algorithm For The Explore Page
Feed Algorithm and the Explore page algorithm are much similar, they’ll show you the content you’re interested in with consideration of how you interact on the platform.
But there is a major distinction between the two, while your feed displays content from accounts you followed, the explore page will mostly display content from new accounts.
Instagram Algorithm For IGTV Videos And Reels
The algorithm for IGTV Videos and Instagram Reels is also very much the same, and they work like the Instagram feed post.
This means you’ll receive content based on interactions from the accounts you followed. The algorithm also shows relevant pages from exploring pages.
This is just a brief explanation of how the Instagram feed works and by summarizing it all, we can say that your content outreach is dependent on the number of followers you have and how they engage with your content.
Let’s now talk about the rules, limits, and restrictions of Instagram in 2021.
Instagram New Rules, Limits, And Restrictions In 2021
As a new account user, you want to always keep things low until your account is at least one month old.
New accounts can post one or two times a day, the more you gain some trust from their algorithm the more you have the freedom to share more posts. Aged accounts can post any number of images and videos.
Multiple Image Limit
You can post up to ten images in one single post.
You’re restricted to the number of characters you can include in your captions, it’s limited to not more than 2200 characters and the first three lines are displayed, the remaining text will be wrapped with three-dot lines so that when the user clicks, the remaining text appears.
If you don’t want your captions to be wrapped, you should limit it to 125 characters, this way all the text will be displayed.
For the aged accounts, they can use up to 30 hashtags but new accounts should include no more than 10 or even less. Even for aged accounts, they shouldn’t use up to 30, they should keep it below that.
This is one of the most abused features on Instagram and you want to play it safe when it comes to following.
Whether you have an aged account or a new account you can receive any number of followers in any given time frame.
However, when it comes to the accounts you follow you have to restrict that 100 as a new account user but aged accounts can go up to 1000 follow.
Overall, you need to consider the total actions made in a single day, new accounts shouldn’t exceed 100 actions which include both follow and unfollow, and old accounts should not exceed 1000 actions as well.
It’s also important to note that you have to spread your actions, you can’t send 100 follows within five minutes and expect your account to stay safe, send no more than 10 follows every hour.
Old accounts can send up 350 likes per hour, and for new accounts, you want to stay no more than 10 per hour. There are no exact figures, it all depends on the reputation and engagement of your account.
You can tag up to 20 users in your images and videos, new accounts should keep it below 10.
Mentions Limit for Comments
You have the freedom to mention about ten users for each comment, for new account holders, don’t exceed five.
Live Story Limit
Your Story can be up to one hour and it will stay for not more than 24-hours in the story feed.
You can upload as many stories as you want but once they reach a hundred, the old ones will be archived.
Are Limits The Same For All Accounts
The truth is that most of the limits mentioned in different sources aren’t official figures from Instagram, they’re just numbers experimented with by some Instagrammers and then sharing on their blogs and various communities.
Every account has its limits and restrictions and one thing is sure; old accounts have more privileges than new accounts.
Engagement also plays a vital role when it comes to deciding your limits on Instagram. If you opened a new account, give at least one month before you start engaging in massive actions.
You want to spread things so that you sound genuine, avoid using automation and robots because it’s the fastest way to get your account banned.
Instagram New Features 2021
In August last year, Instagram introduced the suggested posts feature, the feature is very intrusive to most Instagram users and the sad thing is that it cannot be turned off.
After viewing the most recent posts, you’ll start viewing the suggested posts which will be determined by your likes and accounts you follow.
This is also introduced in the past few months, there are different Story stickers, let’s take a look at them;
It allows you to raise funds for nonprofit organizations and you’ll receive 100% of the funds raised.
With internet challenges now becoming very popular, Instagram introduced the challenge sticker, which allows users to join challenges and is named with hashtags so that it can be more recognizable, and will also increase the outreach of the challenge.
DM Me Sticker
This sticker is for prompt messaging interaction and it was introduced to help brands and businesses showcase their products or services using a CTA.
This will improve direct communication and is something businesses don’t want to miss.
Stay Home Sticker
You can use this sticker for reminding people to stay home in order to stay safe from covid-19.
Food Order Sticker
Adding the Food Order Sticker will allow people to order your business’s food on your partner’s website.
Gift Cards Sticker
This is also like the food order sticker, adding it to your story will allow people to order gift cards on your partner’s website.
Support Small Business Sticker
Due to the downfall of small businesses as a result of the current pandemic, small businesses are affected negatively.
Instagram introduced the Support Small Business sticker, you can use it to tag businesses. When you add this sticker, your story ring will change also and you’ll appear first in the Story Feeds.
These are the stickers introduced for the past months.
Facebook Shops have already arrived and can be accessed both on Facebook and on Instagram.
In simple terms, we can say that this feature allows businesses to showcase their products in customizable catalogs. Users can browse, buy, save and share any product they want.
You can select the product you want to showcase, choose a theme and also add an image cover for it. You can make your catalog look like an online store.
Multiple Accounts Posting
A time saver for users operating multiple accounts and want to share the same content. What you need to do is create a post on one account and then share it with other accounts. No need to use any automation for this task which might place your account at risk.
The New Story Notifications
Most Instagrammers want to repost Stories in which they’re tagged and you can know the Stories you’ve been tagged on by checking your Inbox especially for people and accounts you’re not following.
Now it’s easier to notice the Stories you’ve been tagged on, it’s easier to find and navigate between tags and likes.
There are more features released and will definitely make Instagram a better networking social platform.
That’s it about Instagram limits for 2021, as a rule of thumb, you should always experiment with actions for your account.
As we mentioned, each account has its own restrictions which are dependent on many factors including the age of the account, number of followers, engagement, and many more factors that are used by their Algorithm.
New accounts should limit to not more than 10 actions per hour, that’s to say the number of likes, follows, unfollows, comments and any other action you perform shouldn’t exceed 10 every hour for a new account.
After getting some followers and you have enough engagement, you can increase up to 100 actions per hour.