There's currently no way for public Instagram accounts to remove someone from their followers list. A common recourse is to set one's account to private to have more control over followers, but not everyone wants to keep their feed locked.
However, Instagram seems to be looking at ways to give their users more flexibility when it comes to cherry picking followers — even for public accounts. The Facebook-owned company has apparently started more widely testing the option to manually remove followers in just a few taps.
Instagram Is Testing Follower Removal Option
Private users have long had this ability, in addition to cutting off people from their own content. But an increasing number of people are starting to see that they can now also manually remove a person from their pool of followers. Reports of this new feature have been surfacing over the last several months, and by the looks of it, Instagram is rolling it out to a bigger sample of users. At least on the Android version, that is — iOS users haven't had the same luck.
The Next Web's Matt Navara tweeted a photo of the feature in action, showing a dialog box pop up asking for confirmation from the user if they really want to remove an account from their followers list. Instagram has since confirmed that the feature is indeed in testing, although the company didn't give away any more details beyond that.
The ability to remove followers will be a crucial addition to Instagram, especially since with it, public accounts will gain more control over who can see their content. As with any place on the internet, there are real creeps, stalkers, and generally ill-minded people on Instagram, and having the option to block them from seeing one's feed is important for safety purposes. Blocking is already available as an option, sure, but it feels brash and aggressive; simply removing someone from the followers list is probably way less inflammatory.
Instagram notes that people users choose to remove aren't notified about the action. That of course saves a user from a lot of potential drama in case someone realizes they've been forcefully barred from following someone.
Again, no idea as to when this could roll out to Instagram's entire user base, but there's a huge chance the company will move ahead with this feature, given that it's on a roll with enhancements and updates of late: in May, it released a "mute" option people who never want to see any more content from a specific account but don't necessarily want to unfollow them. It also recently allowed users to add songs to Stories.