A Quick Guide to Instagram Lingo


Instagram has taken the world by storm, creating an environment where people are free to share everything they see in the world around them in a supportive and friendly environment. Since it was launched in October 2010, this site has formed a unique community with its own vernacular and culture.

Here are some helpful hints to help you understand the lingo you see at the bottom of every post.


In this case, the * means there are multiple different permutations of this theme. The FB means Flash Back. Coupled with the first letter of the day of the week (M, T, W, F, S) and you will have one of the most popular kinds of posts online.

Items with this tag will showcase something historical, either from a personal or societal perspective. When you see this, be prepared to take a trip down memory lane!

HT and H/T

Both of these mean the same thing, hat tip. As the name suggests, this is a sign of respect and a compliment to the poster and the posted material. It is one of the most popular ways to compliment something posted, and is coveted by dedicated Instagram users. 


 Instagram enables users to alter all pictures uploaded, by utilizing any of a large number of filters. This is popular in certain circles, and derided in others. For material posted without any alterations, this is a popular tag stating as such. It is not uncommon for there to be numerous tags showing what has been done to a picture if a filter is applied.


Exactly as the name suggests, this is an invitation for the viewer to share the picture or video with others. Sometimes, this works out very well. Other times, well, if Dante was writing today there would be a special circle for the people littering everyone’s inboxes with crud.

In short, use this carefully since poorly created material can and will receive a negative backlash.

Slang as a hashtag

Text message lingo, for instance YOLO, has escaped the phone and entered the Internet. It is too late to turn back the hands of time, though in numerous instances few people would want to.

Hashtags with these popular acronyms are able to communicate often complex ideas quickly, enabling the viewer to understand the poster’s intent without having to spend forever and a day dissecting the posted material.


People love their pets. In some parts of the world, more people have pets than children. This has created a vibrant internet community surrounding showing off these critters.

Posts with these tags are often accompanied with images of cute animals doing cute things. In short, this is the ‘I can has cheezburger’-ification of Instagram.


When coming across any hashtag or acronym you are unfamiliar with, take a few moments and read the material surrounding it. All languages follow certain basic rules, and it is usually possible to garner the meaning of a single word or phrase from those around it.

Worst comes to worst, utilize Google and see what it says. Numerous dictionaries have sprung up over the years, enabling those without the experience the ability to quickly join in an online discussion without being confused with what is being said.

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Instagram is unique in the way it focuses on pictures and videos to showcase content. Through these images, it is possible to understand the purposes behind different hashtags and lingo used on the site.

When venturing on to this site, relax and remember that Instagram is a community of artists and hobbyists.