What is the Difference between Tags, Mentions, & Hashtags on Instagram?
We all know sharing pictures on social media, and especially Instagram is super popular. It is a fantastic way to show off what you have been up to (ahem, like getting engaged, married, or having a baby) – but are you sure you, your friends, and family are doing everything possible to make sure those photos are seen by everyone?
On Instagram, there are three key tools for sharing which allow you to do just that, but sometimes people do not know or are confused by what each tool does. These tools are Tagging, Mentioning, & Hashtagging. Read on and we will explain the difference between each, and how to use them!
When you “Tag” someone in an Instagram photo, the person, place, or business Tagged receives a notification of the Tag, but beyond that, the photo will now be available in the “Tagged” photos section of their Instagram profile. This means that they will never lose the photo and it will always be easily accessible to them on their Instagram profile. Additionally, anyone visiting their profile will be able to see the photos you have Tagged them in, too!
To Tag a photo when posting, simply type in the screenname of the person, place, or business you want to Tag in the “Tag Photo” section below your caption. It is also easy to Tag a photo you have already posted; you just need to tap the three dots over the top right of the photo on your feed and select “Edit” from the menu. From there you will see a tiny black and white profile image on the bottom left corner of the photo. Tap the tiny icon and it will bring you to a screen where you can type in screennames for anyone you need to Tag. When you are done, just tap the checkmark on the top right of the photo and then X out of the edit screen – and you should be all set!
Note: Instagram only allows you to Tag up to 20 people, places, or businesses per photo. In Instagram’s user guidelines, they want you only Tagging people, places, or businesses specifically involved with or depicted in the picture to avoid “spam” Tagging.
When you “Mention” a person, place, or business on Instagram, that means you are including their screenname in the caption or in the comments. While the person, place, or business will get a notification about your Mention, it will not appear in their profile on their page for them (or their profile visitors) to see. Because Mentions have no longevity in page profiles, the photos they are attached to can be lost or forgotten! Even worse if the profile you are Mentioning gets dozens or hundreds of notifications a day, odds are they will not even notice the Mention when it comes in. If you want your photo to get noticed, Tagging AND Mentioning is your best option!
As noted above, to Mention a person, place, or business in a photo, simply include their screenname in the caption or comments when you post. As always, if you want to go back and add a Mention to a photo you have already posted, just tap the three dots over the top right of the photo on your feed and select “Edit” from the menu. It is that easy!
Note: Instagram only allows you to Mention up to 10 people, places, or businesses per caption and comment. This is another way Instagram prevents you from “spamming” others with Mentions irrelevant to them.
When you “Hashtag” you are including a word or phrase immediately preceded by a “#” – Surely you have seen these before. Hashtags are ways for people to search Instagram for topics of interest, like #weddings & #maternityphotos. While this is a great way for you to share your photos with the world at large, personalized Hashtags (like you would make up for your wedding) are an awesome way for your friends and family to see all the photos posted surrounding an event (like your wedding), even if they are not Tagged or Mentioned in the photos.
Hashtags are easy! Simply include your Hashtag in the caption or in the comments of your post. Do not forget to spread the word about what your Hashtag is so all your friends and family know to include it in their posts! If everyone follows through, you will end up with a wonderful collection of photos all pertaining to your Hashtag. Protip: Choose a unique Hashtag that’s never been used before, so it is only photos related to you and your event that show up when you search your Hashtag!
Note: Instagram only allows you to Hashtag 30 times per post, whether they are in the captions or the comments. This is another way Instagram prevents you from “spamming” the platform with irrelevant Hashtags.
If you still have questions about how to use Instagram, we strongly recommend checking their help section on the platform or doing a Google search of what you are looking for; there are many sites out there dedicated to helping users, so take advantage of them! And finally, if you are posting a photo taken by a professional photographer (like us!) please remember to Tag AND Mention them! We thank you and appreciate it! Happy posting!