Connecting with people is one of the major purposes of social media and online networking. And since making connections starts with finding the people you want to connect with, it's pretty much important to know how to go about it. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and all other popular social media platforms have different methods to search for folks.
You can use either of the social networks to find people who share common interests with you and add them or follow their updates.
The most common method of finding people on social media networks is to search for their usernames or legal names. But that's not an efficient method of finding someone you know because multiple people use similar names and usernames on the same app. Also, it is quite time-consuming. Finding someone by their phone number is a more effective approach.
Finding People on Instagram Using the Phone number
Accessing your contacts or address book to find your friends is a feature common to Facebook and Twitter. However, not many know that you can also find people on Instagram using their phone numbers. It's a pretty nifty and is hidden in the Instagram app.
If you don't remember your friend's username, full name, or whatever name(s) on Instagram, it's alright. You can find and reach out to them using their phone number — that only works if they have added it to their Instagram account.
Disclaimer: This guide is purely for personal usage only. If you use it to message, bother, stalk, or harass strangers on Instagram, it is a criminal offense in several regions. Check the law of your land before you proceed with this guide.
Find Someone Using Their Phone Number
First, you'd want to make sure you have the person's number saved on your phone's contact book. Also, if you want to find more than one person, make sure their phone number saved to your device's (Android or iOS) phone book. Only after that, follow the steps below.
Method 1: Using the Native Option
Step 1: Launch the Instagram app on your phone and tap the Profile icon at the bottom-left corner of the app.
Step 2: On your profile page, tap the Hamburger menu icon at the top-right corner to reveal the profile option. Select Discover people.
Step 3: On the Find People page, navigate to the Contacts section, and tap the Connect contacts button.
Step 4: If you are using this feature for the first time, Instagram will request access to your phone's contacts. Tap Allow option to grant Instagram the access to your contact list.
That will allow the app to access your contacts list and identify the people that are on Instagram already.
Step 5: After granting the app access to your contact, Instagram will automatically sync phone numbers from your phone to your account.
All Instagram accounts associated with a phone number on your contact will then appear in the Contacts section of the Find/Discover people page. You can then proceed to choose who you want to follow.
Note: Granting Instagram access to your contacts will automatically turn on Contacts Syncing, i.e., your contacts are periodically synced and store on Instagram servers.
Step 6: If none of the phone numbers on your contact list are associated with an Instagram account, a 'No contacts available' message will be displayed.
If you cannot find your friends by their phone number, then there only two reasons. Either they have registered using a different number, or they haven't added a number at all.
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Method 2: Let Instagram Find Your Friends
Step 1: Launch the Instagram app and navigate to the Profile section of the app.
Step 2: Tap the Hamburger menu icon at the top left corner and select Settings at the bottom of the display.
Step 3: On the app Settings page, select 'Follow and invite friends'
Step 4: On the next page, select Follow contact and Instagram will list out all the usernames (read: Instagram accounts) connected to a phone number on your list of contacts.
Step 5: If none of the phone numbers on your contact list are on Instagram, a message that reads 'No contacts available' will appear on the screen.
Whenever your contact joins Instagram using their phone number, or connects their phone number to their Instagram account, they will appear in the Contacts section of the app.
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Trying to find someone that you do not know so well (personally) on Instagram using their phone number can be considered unethical.
You will not be able to find people who haven't linked their phone numbers to their Instagram accounts using the two methods listed above.
Stay Connected with Friends
Now that you know how to connect and find people on Instagram using their phone numbers, proceed to use the knowledge to connect with friends and family on your contact list.
Next up: Do you sometimes feel someone has blocked you on Instagram? Especially when their posts and stories stop appearing on your feed. Well, you don't need to overthink it. We have listed six easy ways to know if someone blocked you on Instagram in the link below.