How to Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

How to Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

Measuring Instagram statistics is one of the keys to success when it comes to growing your business on this social platform. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to track Instagram follower growth over time and how your business can benefit from using analytics tools for Instagram. 

Instagram Follower Count History

Instagram Follower Count History

Check how many followers you had on any given date. Get in-depth Instagram analytics for your profiles and track your competitors. Try NapoleonCat for free:

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What is Instagram follower growth rate?

Growing your business on Instagram from scratch may not be easy, but if you make the effort to develop a good strategy and produce appealing content, you will definitely start to see some movement on your business profile. 

Regardless of whether you are only just developing a new Instagram account or you’ve already been driving business communication on Instagram for some time, sooner or later you will discover that just staying active is not enough to grow your results effectively.

At this point, you will start to seek methods to optimize your account1 to better suit your business needs. 

The first thing that comes to mind here is, of course, measuring your profile’s performance, drawing conclusions, and making adjustments to your strategy.

This is obviously the right thing to do on every social media platform, although many marketers focus too much on their content’s performance.

They overlook a statistic that might be even more important. That’s right – I’m talking about Instagram follower history. 

Instagram follower growth rate indicates how fast your follower base grows and may have a positive or negative value, depending on the new follows vs. unfollows ratio.

In other words – measuring it gives you clear information if your follower base is growing or shrinking. But how do you calculate you Instagram follower stats? 

Instagram follower growth rate is based on a simple equation. To make it work, you’ll need the following data:

  • The number of followers at the beginning of the chosen time period
  • The number of new followers gained throughout the analyzed period
    (new follows minus unfollows)

Once you have those written down, perform this simple calculation:

Instagram follower growth rate formula
Instagram follower growth rate formula.

Example: Suppose you gained 100 new followers in a month. If you started out with 1000 followers, the equation would look like this: 

Follower Growth Rate = 100/1000 ∗ 100% = 10%

That means that your follower growth on Instagram was 10% – which would be a very good result!

Why is Instagram follower growth an important metric to track?

Instagram follower growth rate tells you if your content is reaching new people and grabbing their attention.2

You probably wonder, how is keeping track of this metric going to help?

Looking into your fan base statistics will provide you with insights that can:
  • Help you assess your content strategy 
  • Inspire adjustments to your communications 
  • Show you if your business is growing at a satisfactory rate 
  • Add another dimension to your competitive analysis

Now that you know how tracking Instagram follower growth can support your social media management efforts, let us have a look at how to actually do it! 

Instagram Follower Tracker

Instagram Follower Tracker

Set a completely custom time range for your Instagram analytics in NapoleonCat. Track your own profiles and your competitors, too! Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Using native Instagram analytics tools

Instagram provides a built-in analytics tool called Instagram Insights. Instagram Insights is available for all Instagram accounts that are connected to a Facebook Page.

You can access it by clicking the three lines in the upper-right corner of your screen. Then go to the ‘Insights’ tab and start exploring your profile’s statistics.

Instagram Insights - how to track Instagram follower growth
Tap the three lines in the top-right corner of your screen and choose ‘Insights’ in the dropdown menu.

Instagram Insights – Overview

Overview is the main tab within Instagram Insights. You’ll be able to access the main metrics from the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days:

Instagram Insights Overview - how to track Instagram follower growth
Instagram Insights – Overview

Instagram’s free tool organizes data into three categories that you can access inside the Overview tab:

  • Accounts Reached (Reach tab)
  • Content Interactions (Interactions tab)
  • Total Followers (Audience tab)

Each one of them gives you an insight into a different category of performance. Let us go quickly through these functionalities one by one. 

Instagram Insights – Reach

The reach tab is where you will find some basic information about your content’s reach. You’ll see the number of impressions, profile visits, website taps, and call-to-action button taps.

Instagram Insights - reach tab
Instagram Insights – Reach

Inside the reach tab, you can also check your top posts and Stories. If you click on “See All”, you’ll find all of your posts from the last 2 years.

Instagram Insights – Interactions

Inside the Interactions tab, you’ll be able to check some very basic metrics from the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days:

Instagram Insights - Interactions
Instagram Insights – Interactions

Below these metrics, you’ll also be able to access Top Posts, Top Stories, and Top IGTV videos (same as inside the Reach tab).

Instagram Insights – Audience

The audience tab pertains to user demographic data on your account. Keep in mind that this section only analyzes your own followers. 

Later in the article, we’ll show you how to easily analyze other Instagram accounts.

Anyhow, you can check your Instagram follower count history (how many users followed and unfollowed you on a specific day). However, this “history” is limited to only the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days:

Instagram Insights - Audience
Instagram Insights – Audience

So why can’t we just use the last tab of Instagram Insights as it contains the most valuable information and can work as an Instagram follower tracker app?

Well, that’s because only having a full overview of your account’s performance will let you draw the right conclusions.

It is not the sole metrics that matter, but the ability to find links and interconnections between them and your actions.

If you manage to combine this tactic with other tricks for boosting Instagram follower growth, success is almost guaranteed.

Is Instagram Insights good enough? 

The free Instagram tool for analytics is for sure a handy feature. Although, one might argue that it is pretty basic and doesn’t offer any sophisticated functionalities.

Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of the Instagram native solution.

Pros: 

  • Built into Instagram app = easy access
  • Free of charge
  • Covers the basic metrics, good for a start
  • Let’s you track the results of your everyday activities

Cons: 

  • Difficult to establish a broader view of your metrics
  • You can’t set your own custom time period for the analysis
  • You can track Instagram follower growth but only for your own account 
  • Doesn’t track your business across other platforms
  • Analysis has to be performed manually 
  • No automated reporting features

Instagram Insights are definitely worthwhile for beginners, but this solution might not meet the needs of dynamically growing companies.

Upping your social media game might require using external social media management tools that’ll help your business flourish. And we’ve got just the thing.

Track Your Follower Growth on Instagram

Track Your Follower Growth on Instagram

Measure your marketing results on Instagram and other platforms. Set a custom time range for your analysis. Track competitors and improve performance using one simple tool. Generate Instagram reports in seconds. Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Instagram follower growth tracker

If you’re serious about using Instagram as a business management tool, then you definitely want to use its potential to the fullest. To achieve that, you must not leave anything to chance. 

Using the best tools available is one of the cornerstones of success in any environment. And this also applies to Instagram analytics. Where Instagram Insights fall short, third-party tools can deliver.

NapoleonCat’s Analytics tool is a great tool you should try out, especially if you manage multiple accounts and use more than one social media platform for your business.

Amongst its many features, it can also serve as an Instagram follower tracker.

Once you access our Analytics module, you’ll see tabs that pertain to specific metrics. Go to Summary or Followers to check how the number of your followers changed:

Track Instagram Follower Growth - NapoleonCat Analytics
With NapoleonCat’s Analytics, you can analyze the performance of your own Instagram accounts and other social profiles, e.g., your competitors.

NapoleonCat’s Instagram follower tracker feature

You may be wondering “How many Instagram followers did I have on a certain date?”. We’ve got you covered.

As opposed to Instagram Insights, NapoleonCat is not limited to e.g., only 7 or 30 days back, and you can easily set a completely custom time range for your analysis to find more historical data.

Once you set the time frame for your Instagram analysis, simply click on any given Instagram followers graph, e.g., Followers daily, and you’ll see how many Instagram followers you had on a given day.

Instagram followers growth chart
NapoleonCat’s Instagram followers growth graph.

Reminder: After you connect your Instagram accounts to NapoleonCat, please wait up to 24 hours for the tool to fully sync your Instagram analytics data.

You can also check your daily Instagram follower change:

See Instagram follower growth
Daily Instagram followers change.

NapoleonCat lets you track your follower growth on multiple social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Having all of this in one place will save you a lot of time and effort as you won’t need to jump between platforms to check your follower stats.

Another handy function is the automated reporting that’ll keep you as well as your team, business partners, clients, and stakeholders updated about all your key metrics.

Below you can check how quickly you can create an Instagram analytics report (sample report is at the end of the video):

Obviously, NapoleonCat gives you all the functions of Instagram Insights, and more. Measuring your social media reach and engagement, identifying top posts and the best times to post, or learning about your audience demographics – all of this is found in one easy-to-use tool.

To see our full Analytics feature in action, you can also check out this video.

Track follower history for other Instagram accounts

One of the biggest drawbacks of Instagram’s built-in analytics tool is the inability to compare yourself with your competitors, including their follower growth rate.

This might be especially frustrating when they’re far ahead and you just can’t figure out what they do better.

NapoleonCat’s comparative sets enable you to easily set up a comparative analysis and peep your competitors’ strategies so it is much easier to catch up and outrun others.

Track Instagram Follower Growth - Followers change daily
Set up comparative sets to compare your own and your competitors’ follower growth rate 
Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

Set a completely custom time range for your Instagram analytics in NapoleonCat. Track your own profiles and your competitors, too! Generate IG reports in seconds. Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Don’t use mass follow and mass unfollow apps – here’s why

You may have also heard about Instagram follower bots – a seemingly quick way to gain new followers, which has grown especially popular in some circles of influencer marketing.

These bots basically follow and unfollow users, making your profile seem like a ghost account. The bots’ targeting system is based on hashtags, which can bring somewhat less valuable traffic to your account.

But that’s not the reason why we strictly don’t recommend them. Using such Instagram bots is a direct violation of Instagram’s terms of service and can get your account shadowbanned. You can read more about it in our article about Instagram bots here.

Wrap up

Summing up, getting your analytics right is just as important as putting in the effort to produce quality content. Keeping track of your follower growth and other metrics is crucial to manage your Instagram profiles, make educated future projections and maintain good results

If you’re just starting your business adventure with Instagram, get to know the native tool first. Once you get comfortable with different metrics, don’t be afraid to try some third-party solutions.

This is what will give you a significant advantage over countless competitors who weren’t bold enough to invest in this type of solution. Good luck!

For more Instagram knowledge, check out our other articles:


  1. Blueprint Of A Successful Instagram Account for Small Businesses
  2. How to Get More Followers on Instagram: The Complete Guide