If your Instagram account is private, people will need to send you follower requests to see your content. Accepting these through the Instagram app for your smartphone or mobile device takes only a couple of taps. To accept a request on a computer you'll need to use independent services.

Private vs Public Accounts

Instagram lets you choose between two settings for your accounts. The default setting is for an account to be public, such that any Instagram user can see your videos and photos and leave comments unless you specifically block them. Alternatively, you can set your account to be private, meaning only specified individuals can see your content. To be among this list of specified individuals, a user must send what is called a "follower request" to you and you must accept it.

Accepting In-App

When using the Instagram app on your mobile device, you will see follower requests listed in your news feed. You must tap on the username of the person who made the request, which will bring up their profile. You'll then see a line at the top of the screen reading "This user wants to follow you" and a green check mark and red cross. Tapping on the check or cross will respectively accept or reject the request. If you reject a request, you can't undo the rejection, but the person can make a fresh request that you can accept.

Multiple Acceptances

If you or your content is very popular or you don't use Instagram for a while, you might wind up with a large number of requests that would be time-consuming to approve one-by-one. You can use a trick to easily accept these requests: by turning your account profile to public and then immediately back to private, every pending request will be approved automatically. Of course, before doing this you should scan through your list of requests to look for any would-be followers you don't want to accept and make sure to manually reject them.

Accepting On a Computer

Instagram tools such as accepting follower requests aren't available through the company's website, which is purely a promotional tool for the mobile apps. However, Instagram does give some access to its database to independent developers who have made PC and Mac applications and websites for interacting with your Instagram account. Examples include Statigram, Webstagram and the Instagram for Chrome extension (see Resources). Functionality varies, so check with the developer to see whether a specific application or website allows you to manage follower requests on your site. Before using such a service, which will have at least some degree of access to your account, check online reviews to see if the service and its operator are reputable and trustworthy.