How to Find Your Contacts on Instagram

By Jennifer Herman, Eric Butow, Corey Walker

If you’re new to Instagram, you may be wondering where to start. Instagram (and its daddy, Facebook) is happy to help you make connections. You can find people in a few different ways.

Finding your Facebook friends

Facebook has a vested interest in making Instagram grow, so it tries to encourage you to round up your Facebook friends and bring them over to Instagram. It’s an easy way for you to find people.

To find friends on Facebook, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page by tapping your photo at the bottom right of your phone’s screen.
  2. Tap the person with a plus (and possibly a red number) at the top left.
  3. Tap the Facebook link at the top of your screen.
  4. Confirm your Facebook login by tapping OK.
    The screen displays how many Facebook friends you have on Instagram.
  5. Tap either Follow All or Follow.
    To follow every one of your Facebook friends on Instagram, tap Follow All. If you’d rather be more selective, especially because you’ll likely be promoting your product or service, you may want to follow friends one by one. Simply tap Follow next to each friend you’d like to connect with, and keep scrolling and following!
find Facebook friends Instagram
Instagram displays all Facebook friends who are available to follow on Instagram.

Some of your friends may have set their accounts to private. In this case, you see Requested after you tap Follow. They need to approve you before you can view their profile and posts.

Syncing your contact list

Instagram can also connect you with the contacts stored on your phone or tablet. After you activate this feature, your contacts are periodically synced with Instagram’s servers. Instagram does not follow anyone on your behalf, and you can disconnect your contacts at any time so that Instagram cannot access them.

This feature may be best as a one-and-done in the beginning versus a constant connection for privacy purposes.

To connect your contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page by tapping your photo at the bottom right of your phone’s screen.
  2. Tap the small person with a plus (and possibly a red number) at the top left.
  3. Tap the Contacts link.
    The next screen tells you that Instagram will find people you know, and you’re given the option to follow them.
  4. To proceed, tap Connect Contacts.
    Another pop-up asks whether Instagram can access your contacts.
  5. Tap Allow Access.
  6. A pop-up appears asking you to allow Instagram access to your Contacts. This is your last chance to cancel your decision to allow Instagram to access your contacts.
  7. Tap OK.
    The pop-up goes away, and the Contacts screen appears.
  8. Follow all your contacts on Instagram by tapping Follow All, or choose which contacts to follow by tapping Follow next to each one.
instagram contacts
Instagram can pull contacts from your phone’s saved contacts for you to select to follow.

If you change your mind at some point and want to disallow Instagram’s access to your contacts, tap the wheel icon on your profile page, scroll down to Settings, and then tap Contacts. Tap the Connect Contacts toggle to return it to white, which terminates Instagram’s access.